The coronavirus infection rapidly spread across the world, since December 2019. Since then, wearing proper protective equipment (PPE), maintaining social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and avoiding contact with affected individuals can prevent its transmission.
This article will provide deeper insights regarding the impact of COVID-19 over small and large-scale businesses, explain the measures taken to manage the pandemic, and list the medical supplies that the employers must provide to their staff members to avoid its cross-transmission.
How has the pandemic affected businesses?
Impacts on the tertiary sector
According to the recent statistics of the WHO's report, novel coronavirus has affected more than 100 million people across the world. In addition, COVID-19 caused approximately 2 million deaths globally.
This pandemic crisis has affected almost every company and almost all business providers have opted for an online mode of operation and customer dealing such as online grocery shipping, e-pharmacy, e-healthcare, and online education system by schools and colleges. Besides, those businesses that could not modify their operation strategies had encountered severe losses, while some companies even shut down.
Apart from this, many business industries curtailed their resources, including human resources, material resources, costs, and finances. Many reports indicate that companies stopped active hiring by 39% in America. Not only that but many organizations laid off their staffs whereas some companies deducted their staff’s salary to a minimum of 10%.
The reason behind all these disruptions is that the businesses were not operating at their full capacity, therefore, they ran into serious losses.
Impacts on the shops and restaurants
Due to the pandemic, almost all countries went under lockdown to quarantine their citizens, and as a consequence, where customers across the globe started to avoid social contact, retailers were striving to adapt.
The same goes for the restaurant and hospitality industry. As the dine-in services were closed in many countries, a lot of restaurant owners have started to offer online delivery and pick-up services which have proven to increase their sales volume than ever before. Online food delivery companies have observed a considerable surge in their profits.
These online food delivery companies and restaurants have helped people to stay home while ordering their favorite meals online even at reduced charges as many companies are offering excellent discounts and packages to attract their consumers.
For restaurants that can open, safety measures shall be enforced, including:
- Surgical masks must be provided to the workers.
- Hydro-alcoholic shall be available for customers.
- Non-contact infrared thermometers shall be used at the entrance.
- Social distancing shall be respected and seating capacity have been reduced.
The Kare Lab offers PPE and medical supplies for bars and restaurants.
What are the measures taken by companies?
Organizations throughout the globe have come together to develop innovative solutions to fight this pandemic and improve public health without compromising their economic and social growth.
For instance, almost all companies have adopted a “work from home” strategy for their employees to avoid social contact and risk of COVID-19 transmission. Likewise, organizations in which staff members had to come to work physically were first screened for temperature and other symptoms, and if they had any symptoms, they must be isolated for two weeks.
This COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in overwhelming circumstances for all working professionals and organizations. Employers and worker representatives have strived very hard to maintain workplace safety, especially for those workers who are required to work on-site.
The common safety measures that employers should take for their employees’ health and well-being include the provision of medical personal protective equipment depending on their responsibilities, such as face masks, gloves, isolation and medical gowns, and face shields.
In addition, all staff members are required to wear protective equipment throughout their stay at the workplace.
Each employee, before entering the work premises, should be screened for temperature and for this purpose, a digital thermometer or thermal gun should be provided by the employer to the screeners.
All on-site working employees must be provided with sanitisers and tissues to maintain hand hygiene and to cover their cough, respectively. Indeed, all employees should also be provided with education about COVID prevention techniques, donning, doffing, and when to discard their personal protective equipment.
Apart from this, workplaces should be modified as per the state guidelines to make them COVID-safe and healthy for workers. Some of the common measures include:
- Moving workstations, at least 1.5 to 2 meters away from each other.
- Limiting the crowd of people in a confined place to one person per 2 square meters of the area such as in vehicles, meeting rooms, etc.
- Maintaining compulsory social distancing.
- Strictly avoiding shake hands.
- Restricting visitors at work.
- Developing a shift based or roster-based work schedule for staff to reduce their numbers in an area.
- Prohibiting food from being served through the self-service buffet.
- Maintaining proper ventilation by opening windows.
The novel coronavirus has hit almost all industries, workplaces, and organizations, but suitable and timely measures can reduce the risk and transmission of infection. Standardized operating procedures and workplace policies should be developed, implemented, and monitored to foster employee safety at work, including protective equipment, screening, hand hygiene, medical supplies, and social distancing.