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Coronavirus: Guidelines on How to Protect Yourself at Work

Coronavirus Safety Guidance to Protect Yourself at Work

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Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a highly contagious respiratory illness. These guidelines provided by the CDC and other trusted sources may help prevent the spread of this illness.

The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person

  • between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It may also be possible to get the virus after touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth or nose.

Stay Safe at Work

For confirmed coronavirus cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

The most common symptoms reported include:

  • Fever (or feeling feverish/chills)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Other symptoms you may experience are:

  • Loss of smell and/or taste
  • Headache

Older adults (age 65 and older) and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from the coronavirus illness.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Handwashing

Follow these five steps every time you wash your hands.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Hand Sanitizer

Clean and disinfect frequently touched work surfaces daily, especially surfaces that may be touched by other people or may be near to others during the course of the workday. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, work benches, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, tools and equipment.

To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

  • Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
  • For a bleach solution, dilute 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water (or 4 teaspoons per quart of water).
  • Ensure alcohol solutions have at least 70% alcohol.
Cleaning Stair Rails

Cleaning removes germs and dirt from surfaces. You can use soap and water to clean surfaces. This doesn't always kill germs, but removing them lowers their numbers. It's suggested to clean surfaces before you disinfect them.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. Disinfectant chemicals are stronger than soap but do not necessarily clean visibly dirty surfaces or remove germs. Killing germs lowers the risk of infection. To properly disinfect, products need to remain on a surface for a specific amount of time -- usually 3 to 5 minutes.

Clean Door Handles

Practice social distancing. Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid crowding, or working closely together, when at work, if possible.
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, work tools and equipment, when possible. If it is necessary to share, then clean and disinfect items before and after use.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

  • Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Employees who appear to have symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath should contact their supervisor and stay at home.

Employees who begin to develop symptoms or feel ill during the course of the work day should separate themselves from the work environment immediately and contact their supervisor.

Sneeze into Elbow

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

If you develop emergency warning signs for coronavirus get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs may include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face
  • or any other symptom that is severe or concerning to you

If you become infected, or believe you might be infected, with the coronavirus,

  • Do not leave your home, except to get medical care.
  • Do not visit public areas.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Wear a facemask, if available, when you are around other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces daily.
Sneeze into Tissue

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A membership to Weeklysafety.com comes at a very low price that never goes up no matter how many employees you have and no matter how many awesome safety topics you use. Included in your membership are hundreds of safety topics that you can use for your safety meetings, toolbox talks and safety moments.

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