Covid Protection Tips for People Working in Essential Services

Business Insights

If you’re working in a restaurant, care facility, or any essential service, you might be worried about your safety, and it’s perfectly normal. While your employer may have put systems into place, there could still be holes here and there. There’s also the possibility of them cutting corners as well. This is why it’s the responsibility of employees to take extra precautions to make sure that they don’t bring the virus back to their homes where it could spread. Let’s take a look at a few things essential employees can do to protect themselves.

Get Yourself a Good Facemask

If you're not in healthcare, you might not be issued with or required to wear an N-95 facemask. N-95 face masks are so called because they can block 95% of all airborne particles. Surgical facemasks provide little protection against particles but they do mitigate the number of particles that are expelled when breathing or sneezing.

However, you may want to protect yourself from particles as well. The issue is that N-95 masks can be hard to find and expensive. Not to mention the fact that they aren't meant for multiple uses, and having to constantly buy masks can be annoying and cost you over time. But there has been a lot of innovation in facemasks since the beginning of the pandemic, and you have a good number of facemasks that you can reuse that will block most particles.

You could consider a VIRACTIV shield for instance. This is one of the best masks for sale at the moment and is fully reusable. Not only can the VIRACTIV Redshield be used 50 times more than your regular N-95 mask, but it can block even more particles - 99% of particles to be exact. This is a great option if you need an additional layer of protection and don't want to constantly worry about buying masks.

Use Additional Protection

If you didn’t know already, COVID can not only infect you through your respiratory passageway, but through your eyes as well. This is why you should consider using additional protection if your employer allows you to. Visors are a great option in this case. While it is not recommended that you wear a visor alone, they can be very efficient in blocking airborne aerosols from your face.

Have the Basics Down

You also have to know basic hygiene rules and understand how the virus is spread. First of all, you can't get it unless infected droplets enter your eyes, mouth, or nose. You can also get infected if you stay in an enclosed space with someone who is infected for a certain period. This means that you have to be mindful of your environment and take the steps needed to reduce the chances of infections.

If you’re in a dining or break room and you notice that the windows are closed, open them, or even go outside if you can. The chance of the virus transmitting outside is very slim when you take the proper measures, so it would be safer to go on a walk or go to an outside lounging area instead of staying inside.

Also, know that gloves are useless if you don’t replace or disinfect them constantly. Gloves aren’t magic and the virus doesn’t penetrate through the skin. Gloves are like a second skin and can get contaminated the same way.

The virus cannot transmit from your hands to your nose or mouth unless they’re infected. So, you want to disinfect your hands as often as possible. You should also make it a routine to wash your hands often, and watch what you do after you wash them. If you use the air dryer instead of paper towels, there’s an additional chance of infection there, so try to stick to towels and avoid contact with the dispenser as much as possible.

Change Your Transport Habits

Another thing you might want to consider is changing your transport habits. Public transport is one of the major areas where viruses are spread, and minimising your time on the tube or bus should be a priority.

One of the things you could do is hire or buy a bike. If you're close enough to work, then using your bike will not only allow you to avoid contact and traffic, but it’ll give you a good workout as well. If you feel like this is too much, you can at least take the bike to the nearest underground station and take it from there.

These are all things employees can do to reduce the chances of infection from COVID-19. While employers also need to do their part, it is you who has to take the extra steps to make sure that your health and that of those around you is protected.