The workplace is no place to contract COVID-19

As we all watch the second wave of COVID-19 start to reveal itself, I see more and more workplaces become the centers of an outbreak. On the surface, without much thought, we read that and continue with our lives. But what if we sit and reflect on what that means.

If I was working somewhere during a pandemic, I practice wearing masks in public, and staying six feet away from people, and making sure my hands are washed, IN PUBLIC. When I arrive at work, I feel safe. I feel that I’ve entered into a controlled environment where my peers maintain the same diligence as I do and that my risk is low to no chance of getting COVID-19.

Unfortunately, we are learning that not everybody is as diligent about mask-wearing and social distancing as we thought. Management at work is not taking the appropriate steps to ensure the health of their staff. And now, when we arrive at a private business, we suddenly have the risk of exposing our families and friends to a novel disease!

This scenario is all easily prevented and controlled with the proper measures. There should be no reason for an outbreak to occur within a workplace. Just like it is expected that I should be able to go to work and not die while there. This seems like a pretty reasonable ask, and yet I am perplexed.

How is it that owners of companies, or management teams, can justify opening their businesses without giving a thought to the risk associated? Bringing 5, 10, 25, or more staff members into proximity to one another, who all have separate trails of contacts that they come into close contact with external to your office or workplace. I am all for opening and operating your business throughout COVID-19, but we can’t be doing that without placing health and safety at the top of the list.

We have now been witness to what happens when we become complacent about it. A company re-opens its operation after having shut it down in March. They are anxious to begin generating revenue again. Things are looking great for a while, people neglect social distancing as they would, and then an outbreak happens, and the business needs to close again as their entire workforce needs to quarantine.

The risk of not putting health and safety first is now extreme! On a risk matrix, it is the top right corner for every scenario; Revenue, human resources, reputation, social impact, and the list goes on.

At the end of February, we at SafetyTek started to see what sort of impact COVID-19 was going to have on workplaces. So we paused what we were working on and built a simple dashboard to allow company owners and management teams to track the risk of an outbreak to prevent it from happening within their workforces. We even made it available for free because we didn’t see it befitting to charge money for something that can help so many. Simply put, we have a simple self-declaration of symptoms meant to be filled out every morning or at the start of each shift by any employee or worker coming into work. Then we track the positive signs and weigh the risk profile within the cluster of people working with them. If we see an uptick in symptoms or persistence in symptoms, decisions can be made to remove individuals from the population until their symptoms trend downwards.

Today we have thousands of companies using our COVID-19 Workforce Health Analysis solution.

I am happy to report that our clients have successfully prevented any outbreaks from occurring within their workforces. They have said that without the simple self-assessment tool, that would not have happened.

COVID-19 self-assessments are noninvasive and ridiculously simple to stand up within a group of workers. It provides the data required to manage your workforces so that everyone can arrive, knowing that if they are working, they all reported their good health status.

Now, I am not saying that the self-assessment is a silver bullet to protecting workers from contracting COVID-19. I am saying that this should be the bare minimum, and any company wanting to be operating during a pandemic needs to implement this system before they get back to work.

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