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The last year has had a lot to teach us, no matter what industry you work in or what you do for a living.

Among everything we’ve experienced, there’s been a renewed focus on employee safety. Prior to this, employee safety for frontline workers (such as warehouse staff or front-of-house retail employees) tended to focus more on physical safety: proper lifting techniques, safe stacking of items on your warehouse storage shelves, and the like.

The past year, however, has shown us how equally important it is to focus on safety as it relates to health as well. Preventing the spread of infectious disease and germs throughout the workplace has become increasingly important in many environments, particularly for frontline workers who deal with the public and distribute necessary goods.

And while it’s nice to know the vaccine is becoming more and more accessible to people, these safety measures will likely still be in place for some time after the pandemic – if, indeed, they even go away at all.

Here’s the four safety measures for frontline workers we think will still be helpful even after the pandemic begins to subside:

 

Frontline Worker Safety Measures For After the Pandemic

 

Minimizing onsite presence when possible

For many office workers – warehouse management, inventory control, marketing teams, and the like – the shift to working-from-home was harder to get used to than expected. It has, however, done a lot for keeping the on-site staff safer and less exposed to potential illness than had workplaces been as fully-staffed as they used to be.

As a result, a lot of companies will be continuing to offer some form of working from home, even after their teams are all vaccinated from COVID-19. If your business has staff that can perform their jobs from home, allow them to work from home during peak illness seasons or when they themselves don’t feel good, to better minimize exposure to essential frontline staff.

 

Germ-resistant materials

Even in industries that don’t have the same rigorous safety standards as something like medical industry shelving or food service industry shelving, many warehouses and retail storefronts found themselves switching over to more sterile materials for high-touch surfaces like shelving. Things like sterile polymer shelving and sterile wire shelving will continue to make their presence known in retail and warehousing, as they can help reduce the risk of germs and illness being transmitted between workers, customers, or both.

 

Reduced usage of common areas

Even if your team has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, many dangers still linger for teams working in smaller spaces where someone may still be able to contract the flu or a cold. Especially during peak illness times, reduce the capacity of spaces like break rooms or locker rooms to minimize risk and promote healthier behaviors among workers.

 

Greater awareness of health

And finally, sometimes a regular sick day may be required by someone on your team no matter how hard they work, or how seemingly minor the illness may be. Encourage your workers to take a greater interest in their own health, or even the health of their families, and make sure they know it’s okay for them to take a day off until they feel better. By encouraging healthier practices, self-care like warm-up stretches, or even just increased use of hand sanitizer, your team can develop better habits to keep themselves – and others – safer than usual.

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