Follow Coronavirus Prevention Guidelines at Work in Kansas City
The U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently put forth and updated guidance on how businesses can protect their employees and customers through engineering and administrative controls as they head back to work in person.
Engineering controls deal with physically isolating employees from hazards, while administrative controls require action by the employer, generally a change in work policies.
Administrative controls include encouraging sick employees to stay home; establishing alternating shifts so fewer employees are in the office at one time; requiring the use of personal protective equipment, such as a cloth face mask; and discontinuing non-essential business travel, among others.
As you prepare to bring your team back into the office full-time after months of working from home, don’t forget that your office furniture and how you arrange it can be key in helping to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, along with the other recommendations from OSHA and the CDC.
Office Partitions in Kansas City Businesses
Engineering controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workspace can be quite cost-prohibitive, particularly OSHA’s advice to increase ventilation in the work environment. Installing high-efficiency air filters in the HVAC system isn’t necessarily expensive, but it may require upgrading certain pieces of equipment that will require professional help to do. By far, the advice with the least cost-prohibitive outcome that OSHA offers is to install physical barriers between employees and their workspaces.
If your employees’ desks are not currently divided by office cubicle walls or other partitions, your cheapest option to add them to your office space is to purchase them used from a local Kansas City business. Used office partitions from Santa Fe Office Interiors add privacy to workspaces and can help to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 infections, since the virus can travel through the air in respiratory droplets when someone sneezes, coughs, or even talks.
The partitions you choose don’t need to look like canvas-covered cubicles, if you don’t want them to. Glass office partitions are modern and let in natural light, which can actually improve employee morale over dark, isolating partitions.
Used Desks for Sale in Overland Park Let Your Team Spread Out
In hyper-modern office spaces or businesses with limited square footage, employees may be asked to share communal desks or work areas. Under normal circumstances, this work environment fosters a culture of collaboration and builds camaraderie among team members.
In the age of coronavirus, however, this set-up makes it easy for employees to transfer germs among coworkers. All it takes is one infected person to touch a shared work surface, and everyone in the office is at risk.
While brand-new office furniture to provide every employee with their own desk can be just as cost-prohibitive as some of the more extreme engineering controls OSHA recommends, buying used desks for your team members solves the problem of social distancing at work and doesn’t eat into your department’s annual budget. There’s also a good chance at a large used office furniture store like Santa Fe Office Interiors that you’ll be able to find a set of matching used desks that also complement your existing office furniture and decor.
Office Chairs for Every Employee, Too
Just as it isn’t advisable for your team members to share desks and work surfaces, your employees should have their own dedicated office chair as well. Assigning chairs to a desk and person is very common in traditional business offices, but in companies like car rental offices, employees often sit in the same chairs when the new shift arrives at work.
Assigning chairs to employees can reduce the spread of coronavirus. Think about it – what’s the first thing you touch when you sit down in an office chair? The armrests! If three different people touch the same armrest within a couple of hours of each other, there’s a risk of disease transmission should one of them have the COVID-19 virus or respiratory droplets on their hands. The CDC states, “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.”
If you have a large conference room, you’ll want to spread out chairs so that your team members can continue sitting six feet apart during meetings. This is another opportunity to respect assigned seating – and the perfect chance to ask everyone to disinfect the chair they sit in using a cleansing wipe or antiviral spray.
Just as it isn’t cheap to buy brand-new desks outright, office chairs designed for long-term sitting can be quite pricey when purchased new. This is yet another time you can turn to Santa Fe Office Interiors to get a great deal on sturdy, gently-used, and clean office chairs for your team.
Other Coronavirus Precautions for Your Office and Employees
In their booklet “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” OSHA also suggests these tips and modifications for preventing the spread of coronavirus at work:
- Each day, screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms and take temperatures if possible.
- Encourage employees to stay a minimum of six feet apart at all times; a greater distance is even better when possible.
- Identify instances that workers may be at a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 and eliminate those risk factors as much as possible.
- Promote frequent handwashing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Train team members on respiratory etiquette, including how to cover their coughs and sneezes with the inside of their elbows, not their hands.
- Consider implementing flexible work hours or allow telecommuting.
- Increase regular housekeeping practices, such as cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, office furniture, and equipment. Check the labels of your cleaning products for EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims; these cleaners are expected to be effective against COVID-19.
- Create a plan for reporting and isolation should an employee fall ill at work.
- Don’t punish workers for absenteeism should they, in good faith, suspect they have coronavirus or have come into contact with someone who has.
Save Money on Used Furniture for Your Office to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus
It’s time to purchase office partitions, used desks, and used office chairs in Kansas City before bringing your team back to work after working from home.
Visit Santa Fe Office Interiors in Overland Park, Kansas at 8106 Santa Fe Drive, or call us at 913-901-8800 for more information on our 9,000-square-feet of used office furniture for sale and ready to head to work with you!