Preparing for COVID-19 Workplace Safety During Winter

Preparing for COVID-19 Workplace Safety During Winter

COVID-19 workplace safety is straightforward and easy to achieve… when it’s warm outside. Because much of COVID-19 workplace safety involves taking tasks outdoors or leaving windows open for airflow, the temperature dropping kind of puts a wrench in things. So, how do we prepare for workplace safety when it’s cold or snowing out?

HEPA Air Purifiers

The first step is considering the installation of HEPA air purifiers. HEPA filters can filter out airborne viruses. While this won’t remove the risk of catching COVID-19 entirely, it can make a significant drop in chances for spread.

Installing HEPA air purifiers in any workplace is a great idea right now, but especially in work environments with other air pollutants. Do you own a factory, construction shop, or any other manufacturing facility where particles are in the air? If so, your employees can only benefit from an air purifier. They’ll be useful even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

Isolated Work Areas

Next up, consider isolated work areas. While these are good year round, they’re extra necessary without the ability to leave windows open all day. Using tents to cordon off indoor work spaces is a great way to cut down on spread risk. If an employee is unknowingly infected, they’re unlikely to spread COVID-19 to peers if they’re all working in separate areas, separated by barriers. Infected particulates breathed into the air will have nowhere to go.

Consistent Mask Usage

Even easier than putting up barriers – enforce employee mask usage. Consistent and effective mask usage means:

  • Wearing a mask at all times when indoors.
  • Not touching your mask throughout the day.
  • Keeping your mask over both mouth and nose. They’re ineffective if left below the nose.
  • Keeping your mouth off your mask. While chewing or biting the seam of a mask is more common in children and teens, it’s important for anyone, regardless of age, to refrain from fidgeting with it with their mouth. Any infected particulates that were filtered out through the mask can enter your body through your mouth, completely negating the use of the mask.
  • Using masks that filter air. If you can blow out a candle through whatever is covering your face, it is not filtering air effectively. If you want to ensure employees are using appropriate masks, make a list of guidelines they must follow or offer cheap surgical masks for them to put on when arriving at work.

Regular Hand Washing

It’s easy to become more lax about hand washing after over a year of dealing with COVID-19. The immediate urgency of hand hygiene has long-since left most of us. However, continuing to wash your hands is more important than ever. Not only do we need to do so to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between work areas, our immune systems are also less effective at holding off common colds than before the coronavirus. Prevent the spread of germs by washing your hands before and after you eat, before and after starting work, and every time you use the restroom.

Sanitizing Work Areas

Finally, ensure work areas are sanitized with 70% isopropyl alcohol at least twice a day, at the beginning and end of the work day. Ideally, areas should be sanitized throughout the work day as well. This is especially necessary if working anywhere with the public, such as customer service jobs.

Top 5 Safety Precautions for Returning to Work after COVID-19

Top 5 Safety Precautions for Returning to Work after COVID-19

With people returning from remote work, safety precautions are paramount. While working in-facility comes with a lot of perks, we can’t count safety from virus spread among them. Therefore, taking the necessary steps to keep employees safe should be every company’s first priority. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Varsity Tents is here to assist with providing barriers. However, we also have a lot of knowledge on antiviral safety, due to our continued work with the public. Here are the 5 safety precautions for returning to work after COVID-19 that we want to share with you.

1. Continue Washing Your Hands

After two years of COVID-19, many people have gone lax on washing their hands. In the first months, we were all scared of the unknown. We washed our hands while out of the house, when we came back to the house, and throughout the day as well. However, as months have turned into years, many have become less concerned with hand washing.

Ensure employees are washing their hands at least every 30 minutes if they’re working with customers. This measure can prevent transfer of COVID-19 through touching one’s face.

2. Enforce Mask-Wearing from Staff and Clients

Mask mandates are frequently ignored and, in some places, are optional for those who have been vaccinated. For optimal safety, enforce mask-wearing from staff and clients regardless of vaccination status. No one is harmed by wearing a mask, so they can only help. Plus, it’s not uncommon for anti-mask customers and clients to claim vaccinated status just to get out of wearing a mask.

3. Prevent Spreading Through Air

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of an airborne virus like COVID-19 is to keep the air flowing. Keep open windows when the weather isn’t too extreme. This will allow fresh air to blow through and replace any air that might contain the virus.

If the weather doesn’t permit, or your place of work has no large windows, the best way to prevent the spread is with barriers. Using tents to isolate static work spaces is one of the best preventative measures you can use. Any job that’s done from one spot can be isolated with a tent, containing any infected air breathed out by a worker.

4. Wipe Down Surfaces

While it’s been discovered that COVID-19 is spread more through aerosolized breath, it isn’t impossible for it to spread through touch. Continue to wipe down any surfaces that are frequently touched with 70% isopropyl alcohol. This includes buttons on card readers, pens, keyboards, desks, counters, and more. 

5. Stay Vigilant About Symptoms, Testing, and Vaccination

If your place of work is crowded or has less than ideal quarters for putting up barriers, stay vigilant. In a space like this, every employee should be vaccinated before returning to work. If an employee is delayed in getting vaccinated or is medically unable to, they should be regularly tested to ensure they’re not infected. If even one employee gets infected, they put everyone else in the workplace at risk. By the time symptoms start appearing, the entire workforce could be infected. When returning to work after COVID-19, if you notice any symptoms in an employee, send them home until they can be tested. Even if they don’t have COVID-19, you’re better safe than sorry.

Take Work Outside with Help from Varsity Tents

Take Work Outside with Help from Varsity Tents

Keeping COVID-19 at bay has taken a lot of dedication from people of all walks of life. It’s been especially hard on those who need to work for a living. While many jobs can be made remote, there are many that require in-person labor. For those jobs to remain safe, a fantastic solution is to take work outside. We at Varsity Tents can help with that. Here’s how taking work outside can improve safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Allow Air Flow in Work Areas

What many people don’t know is that air flow is one of the strongest protections against the spread of COVID-19. The virus is spread through aerosolized droplets. That means, when someone who’s carrying COVID breathes, they’re ejecting tons of infected particles into the air around them. Masks prevent most of these droplets from getting out into the open air, but there are always some that escape. This is especially true when someone is doing heavy labor that increases breathing. Therefore, it’s best to take every precaution.

When you take work outside, you ensure any infected particles are blown away with the slightest breeze. This constantly refreshes the air in the work area. Even if you can’t take a specific job outdoors, keeping all windows open during working hours will allow infected air to be replaced with fresh.

Protect Equipment from the Elements

If a job requires equipment, taking that equipment outdoors comes with challenges. Lightweight equipment may be stored when work hours are over. However, heavy equipment may need to be left outside until outdoor work is no longer necessary.

Tenting can provide cover for equipment, keeping it free of rain or unnecessary heat from the sun. That makes it easy to store machinery, tools, and other such equipment outdoors, so long as no extreme weather events come to town.

Provide Comfort to Displaced Employees

Employees that have their work station moved outdoors will need protection as well. Standing for 8-12 hours of the day is taxing enough – doing so in direct sunlight when you’re not used to working outdoors would be brutal. Tenting provides safe cover for employees to escape the sun and stay dry when it’s raining.

For large tents, we also offer air conditioning and heating units for rent. Hard work is always much easier when you’re not overheating. While air conditioning is more effective for cooling, we do recommend that, when heat is not at dangerous levels, fans are used instead. Air conditioning requires a space to be closed off to work effectively. To ensure a breeze is able to pass through the work area, it’s better for tent flaps to be held open during work hours. Therefore, fans will allow cool air to flow through the space while still supporting COVID-19 airflow safety conditions.

Isolate Work Areas

Additionally, if you have many different types of work at your facility, you can isolate work areas. Teams that use different tools and equipment can be put into separate tent spaces. Even with tent flaps open, a barrier on one side vastly reduces the likelihood of infected air reaching another work unit.

Give us a call if you have questions about our rentals or how to acquire one. We’re doing everything we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we hope we can extend that help your way.

A COVID-Safe Solution for Returning to Work

A COVID-Safe Solution for Returning to Work

With COVID cases dropping, many companies are have employees returning to work from remote locations. Working in-facility comes with a number of benefits. Unfortunately, safety from virus spread isn’t one of them. That’s why implementing extra safety precautions is important. Varsity Tents wants to help prevent the return of COVID-19. Therefore, we suggest the use of indoor and outdoor tenting to provide barriers. After all, following safety procedures until the coronavirus is gone completely is the only way to ensure it stays gone. Here’s how our tents can help.

Outdoor Lunch Areas

One of the highest risk parts of working in-facility is eating lunch around coworkers. Because eating requires removing your mask, the chance for spreading COVID rises significantly. Remember, someone can have COVID-19 for up to 2 weeks before symptoms appear. Even if you believe your employees are COVID-free, you don’t want to find out you’re wrong by catching it or, worse yet, having company-wide infection.

To prevent the spread of COVID while eating lunch at work, we suggest company leaders put outdoor tenting to use. Eating outdoors, where air is constantly flowing, is the most effective way to prevent spreading. Tents provide cover from the hot sun, potential rain, and birds. Tent flaps can be tied open to allow maximum airflow.

Isolated Workspaces

If you have stations at your company that aren’t necessary to keep in one place, putting them outdoors is a great idea. Small tents allow for individual workspaces, keeping employees separated by barriers. The coverage and flaps on the tents make even office jobs involving papers possible to do outdoors. 

For companies and businesses that are unable to bring work outdoors, indoor areas can also be divided with tents. This is great for businesses that involve small machines. Tents can be set up to isolate individual work stations. While masks should still be worn while working, tent divisions provide additional assurance that any particularly ambitious COVID particulates remain with their original host.

Item Quarantine

Separating workers is important, but quarantining potentially contaminated items is too. Countless other workers breathe on and touch your shipment in the chain of delivery. Therefore, put new shipments in an item quarantine tent for 5 days before distributing them throughout your facility. That gives any contaminants time to die off. 

Buy and Rent Tents

If you want to prevent COVID from turning your business into a ghost-town while employees end up hospitalized, it’s best to take preventative measures. We believe our tent barriers are one of the most effective of these measures. 

Give us a call to discuss tent rentals or buying outright. We’ll be sure you get the size you need to best ensure the safety of your employees while returning to work. After all, your business and the safety of everyone involved in it relies on caution, especially under the circumstances.

Provide Safe Workplace Lunch Areas with Outdoor Tenting

Provide Safe Workplace Lunch Areas with Outdoor Tenting

Now that many are heading back to work outside the home, it’s more important than ever to ensure safety guidelines are followed. Remaining cautious is how we’ll ensure COVID-19 doesn’t get another foothold in our society. So, let’s face one of the questions many are asking: how can we safely take lunch breaks at work? After all, in order to eat, people will need to remove their masks. Fortunately, safe workplace lunch areas are easier than ever to achieve with outdoor tenting. Check out how Varsity Tents can help.

Avoiding Crowds

If we’ve learned anything about COVID-19 safety, it’s that we need to avoid crowds. So, how is one supposed to eat lunch at the same time as half their coworkers? There are two answers to this great question.

The first is that management at any place of business should take the steps to increase lunch periods. If staff is typically split into two lunch periods, they should be split into four. This will cut the size of each lunch group in half, making it possible for coworkers to maintain distance from each other while maskless.

The second is that lunch breaks should take place outdoors. This improves safety in more than one way. Let’s look at how eating outdoors improves safety.

The Safety of the Outdoors

The most important reason for eating outdoors is that the continuous flow of air keeps people from breathing in each other’s air. We’ve learned that COVID-19 primarily spreads through aerosolized droplets. While it was initially believed surface contamination was a huge part of infection rates, it turns out it may be less involved than we thought. That means the virus is caught mainly through inhaling infected air that someone else has exhaled.

Because of this, distance is important, but not as important as keeping air flowing or filtered with specialized filtration devices. Eating outdoors keeps infected air continuously blown away by the breeze, protecting coworkers from any potential infection.

Additionally, being outdoors means having a lot more space to spread out. The more distance between two people, the less likely any infected air will be able to travel between them.

Comfort and Cover

While eating outdoors is an easy fix, it requires some equipment. Tables and chairs will need to be set up but, most importantly, employees will need some kind of cover for safe workplace lunch areas. Varsity Tents provides tents in many sizes. These tents can have their flaps opened up, providing cover from rain, the hot sun, and air stagnation. Flaps can optionally be opened or closed to provide shade on any side of the tent where the sun is shining.

With this setup of outdoor tenting, spaced-out seating, and continuous airflow, your employees will have a safe workplace lunch area where they can feel free to take off their mask and enjoy a nice meal before returning to work. A quick wipe-down of each seat and table space after use with 70% alcohol or soap and water will kill any virus left behind and leave the space safe and ready for the next person to clock out for lunch.

Contact Us

Varsity Tents Inc.
Downsview Park
40 Carl Hall Rd.
Box # 5 Toronto, ON
M3K 2C1
TEL: (416) 410-7370
FAX: (416) 630-8514
info@varsitytents.com
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