According to U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has spread from China to many other countries around the world, including the United States. Depending on the severity of COVID-19’s international impacts, outbreak conditions—including those rising to the level of a pandemic—can affect all aspects of daily life, including travel, trade, tourism, food supplies, and financial markets.”
Now that this virus is spreading through our local communities it is of the utmost importance to properly prepare our work environments to attempt to prevent and/or limit the spread that has occurred around the world. The first line of defense is to protect yourself by frequently washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds and to avoid touching your head and face. It is also highly recommended to avoid large gatherings of people and to remove yourself from any environment where symptoms of the cold and flu are present.
Disinfecting all frequently contacted surfaces such as door knobs, telephone receivers, cell phones, dashboards of company vehicles, vending machines, computer keyboards, office desks and drawers (including writing utensils and staplers) and similar touch points is HIGHLY recommended. Carefully read the instructions on all disinfectant products to assure that the product is performing up to its’ efficacy claim. In most cases this includes allowing the chemical to stay wet on the surface for the directed dwell time, usually between 5 to 10 minutes but as little as 1 minute in some cases. Following the specified dwell time it is also important to rinse any surfaces that will touch human skin since most disinfectants will cause irritation after prolonged contact.
Although there is still no identified cure to this disease, by following these guidelines you can help your organization to minimize the effect it has on your environment. For more information and resources concerning COVID-19 visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.