What Is The Future Of Health & Safety In The Workplace After Covid-19?

What is COVID-19 and how does it affect the future of health and safety in the workplace?

COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus. Although very much like influenza, this virus has the potential to spread very rapidly among the population as well as cause complications and death in many people. Even though vaccinations have been introduced and many countries are striving to vaccinate their population, the pandemic is still of great concern, with new variants of it being found all the time, throwing people into a panic.

This situation has certainly changed the manner in which the workplace has to reconsider its health and safety measures in order to be more effective in preventing the virus from spreading.

Social distancing, the wearing of protective masks or even personal protective equipment, and strict hand-washing and other hygiene measures will be necessary to prevent the spread of this virus and to keep employees safe while working.

Figures show that the number of people infected with COVID-19, which has led to deaths, is rising daily, and it seems like there is no end in sight yet as more variants appear on a regular basis. People are dying from an illness that was unheard of, causing panic among many governments worldwide regarding how they should deal with such a pandemic. Hence, we see major changes being implemented across different workplaces all over the world when dealing with safety issues.

While nationwide lockdowns were initially implemented to keep people safe from the virus, this state of affairs could not continue for long, and economies needed to once again become active, bringing with them new health and safety procedures and requirements.

Why should we care about COVID-19 and what can be done to prepare for it?

The rapid spread of the virus is the main element of concern for many people, as are the various complications that arise for those infected with it, sometimes even leading to death.

The number one priority in dealing with a pandemic such as this should always focus on keeping workers safe, even more so given that they are vital to ensuring society continues moving forward from day-to-day.

Let’s have a look at some ways companies could future-proof their health and safety practices when faced with something like COVID-19:

Ensuring all employees know how to use personal protective equipment correctly
Having a good understanding of which risks exist within your workplace and assessing them accordingly is key.
Establishing a clear protocol for what should be done in the event of an outbreak
Make sure all employees are aware of how to recognise early signs and symptoms of infection, as well as ensuring they know who is best placed within their area to take action if this occurs.

Proper training for both employers and employees will be necessary in order to ensure they are prepared for any future pandemic.

The importance of having a plan before an emergency happens

All businesses should have a proper plan of action in place in case of emergency situations where employees get infected or test positive for the virus, or if employees are required to remain at work during an outbreak. This would include plans for the following:

Emergency procedures in the case of illness
What steps should be taken before, during, and after a pandemic?
Who is responsible for what? For example, who will create posters around the workplace encouraging healthy behaviour such as handwashing? This could also help with communicating information about how to spot early signs and symptoms of infection too.

The most important thing that every business must do is to ensure they have all their bases covered when it comes to health and safety. It can’t hurt your company’s reputation either, so you really don’t want any negative press resulting from poor coverage of these issues.

How can I stay safe during an emergency situation involving COVID-19, such as wearing masks or staying indoors?

In situations such as this, employees may need to be encouraged around the workplace to encourage healthy behaviour such as handwashing; this could also help with communicating information about how to spot early signs and symptoms of infection too.

If everyone conformed to the new regulations and ensured they adhered to the new standards, it may help a company’s reputation and allow them to recover from any damage that has been done by COVID-19. Carrying out a WHS consultation or allowing WHS training in the workspace can help take precautions and eliminate the spread of COVID-19.