January has forced us to be more conscious of how we take care of our health: the Taal Volcano ashfall followed by the contagious Coronavirus. For many Filipinos, going to work despite these public health emergencies is not optional. That’s why employers should take initiatives in securing the health of their employees in the workplace.
Here are some reasonable steps you can take as employers:
Information about these public health emergencies is usually developing news. Stay tuned in reliable sources about the severity of these public health threats so you can make an assessment whether it’s still safe to ask your employees to physically be present at your office, especially if you don’t implement work-from-home options.
Educate your employees
People today heavily rely on social media for news updates, but fake news and other tailored stories easily circulate on these channels as well. It would be best that you personally update your employees through your private channels on news from credible sources and educate them on symptoms and the necessary precautions to take to protect themselves.
Ensure a safe working environment
You must ensure that every part of your office is regularly cleaned. You should also provide sanitary products such as alcohol, hand sanitizers, hand wash, and tissue papers that are easily accessible to every employee. In cases such as the Taal Volcano ashfall and the coronavirus, you may also want to provide face masks. Aside from the regular provision of regular over-the-counter medicine, you should consider providing vitamins and multivitamins as well.
Employees who have recently traveled to areas directly or indirectly affected by these public health emergencies should be counseled and encouraged to self-quarantine, especially if they are experiencing any of the given symptoms. You may request for them to have a “fit-to-work” medical clearance.
Regardless of the nature of your business, always remember that health protection and health promotion should be an integral part of your management practices.