The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on people and businesses all across the world.
Given the magnitude at which the pandemic has hit the global economy, many people have been left jobless and/or uncertain about their futures, whereas, According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it will take years for the world to fully recover from the loss caused by the outbreak.
In the meantime, while the world is waiting to return to normalcy, remote work has become a popular option for most companies.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to lose a sense of how widespread the infection is. As an employer, how can you help your employees remain COVID-19 safe? A COVID safety training program can really come in handy during these challenging times!
What is COVID Safety Training Program?
At present, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, therefore, the best way to prevent the infection is by limiting your exposure to it. Guess what helps you with that? A comprehensive COVID-19 safety training that will help your employees stay alert and take better care of themselves.
Moreover, as an employer, the COVID safety training will also establish that you care about your employees’ well-being, and are working towards creating a safe working environment for everyone.
Now that we have discussed the importance of a COVID-19 safety training, let’s take a look at what an ideal COVID-19 safety training looks like.
What does COVID Safety Training Entail?
Good COVID-19 safety training should include information about the following topics:
Basic Infection Prevention Measures:
Coronavirus spreads easily through physical contact which is why it is important to maintain a minimum physical distance of six feet between yourself and others.
In the training program, you must encourage some basic infection prevention measures, including, use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), washing your hands properly, and keeping your surroundings clean.
a) Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Designed to minimize the contact and spread of the virus, PPE mainly includes safety glasses, gloves, respirators, and masks.
You can easily use Siminars to add tutorial videos, and other multimedia files in your training program to share the instructions for PPE usage- how PPE should be worn, replaced/removed, and disposed of.
Although many companies are not planning to return back to their workplace anytime soon, they’re allowing some employees to make short, need-based, on-site visits. If you happen to be one of them, encouraging the use of PPE is crucial. It will not only help your employees stay COVID safe but also ensure that your workplace is safer for everyone.
You can also include any COVID specific protocols that you have in place for your on-site workers. For example, encourage them to avoid using other’s devices, furniture, cabins, tools.
b) Washing/Sanitizing your hands the right way
In case of direct contact, that is from one person to another, and through indirect contact which is by touching any surfaces, our hands make for one of the easiest ways for the virus to spread. To prevent this contact you must wash hands frequently, but that’s not it. What is equally important is to wash your hands in the right way.
You can include stepwise instructions on the correct way to wash hands. A great way to demonstrate this would be to add educational videos, and images, so your employees remember and emulate the instructions. Sharing some resources on the topic, for example, Mayo Clinic’s guide to keeping your hands clean is also helpful.
Apart from encouraging your employees to wash their hands, you should also recommend the use of sanitizers. Not only are they easy to carry, but also instantly kill almost 100 percent of contaminants. Include instructions on how often, and how much sanitizer should be used by employees regardless of whether they’re working remotely or on-site applied.
For the safety and convenience of your employees, enlist WHO-approved sanitizers. In case the recommended ones are unavailable, you can suggest alternatives with at least 60% alcohol.
c) Disinfecting your surroundings and personal items
Viruses and all kinds of germs can settle over any surface—especially phones, keyboards, doorknobs, stationary, and even money! Since most of your employees are working from home, and spending longer than 8 hours in their home office, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces is very important.
By keeping your surroundings and personal items clean, one can minimize the risk of indirect contact with the virus and break the chain. Include a comprehensive list of items that should be prioritized for cleaning/disinfection when at home.
For example, research shows that our cellphones carry disease-causing organisms like the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And we touch our phones 2,617 times daily. Going by this fact phones should be sanitized on a priority basis.
Don’t forget to mention the protection measures that should be taken while using the disinfectants on electronic appliances. With the help of Siminars you can also include instructional videos to guide employees on how to use the disinfectants right.
What to do when you or a loved one is sick?
We all have an essential role to play in breaking the chain of Coronavirus, which includes taking adequate precautions and seeking medical assistance when required.
When your employees are working from home, they also have the opportunity to keep a close eye on the family members or friends. Recognizing symptoms early is the key to a good prognosis and even faster recovery, therefore, your training must prepare your employees for the next steps in case they (or someone they’re sharing the same space with) tests positive for COVID-19.
You can start by providing a quick walkthrough of the different stages of the infection, and highlight symptoms that require emergency care. Share resources for COVID testing, for example, the Indian Council of Medical Research makes it easy for people to locate COVID-19 testing laboratories in their area. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers very informative print and video resources that can come in handy for an employee looking to learn more about what COVID-19 testing looks like.
Health Care Benefits
Today, health insurance is one of the most important employee benefits that you can offer your team members as we battle the global pandemic. So, make sure you include information related to the medical benefits that your employees can avail of in your training. For everyone’s convenience, explain how an employee can claim these benefits to save time during emergencies.
Additionally, if you have updated your sick leave policy to align with the current remote work culture, use the training to inform your employees about the changes.
In the End
Your employees are the backbone of your company and their wellbeing should be one of your top priorities. By creating an online training program, you help them become more vigilant about their safety.
It’s also important to remember that your job doesn’t end once you have created an online COVID safety training program for your employees. You must also ensure that employees are completing the training, and that’d only happen as long as you keep things interesting. For example, you can add a short quiz after every module so people can test their knowledge retention, and get an update on their progress. To enhance their training experience, don’t forget to incorporate interesting videos, audios, images, and other multimedia files in your training using Siminars.
We hope this article helps you understand what COVID safety training is, why it’s important, what all does it entails, so you can help your employees navigate these challenging times.