What Employers Need to Know About the Coronavirus

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, which began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including several cases in the United States. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus is thought to spread via droplets between people who are in close contact with one another (within a range of about 6 feet). Respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into their lungs. A person may also become infected by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes, although this is not the primary method of transmission.

Measures for protecting workers from exposure to, and infection with, the coronavirus, depend on the type of work being performed and exposure risk, including potential for interaction with infectious people and contamination of the work environment. However, there are some general infection control practices that all employers should implement to reduce the risk of illness being spread among their employees:

  • Instruct employees to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, they should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Provide containers of hand sanitizer throughout the workplace.
  • Equipment, tools and machinery should be cleaned at regular intervals with disinfecting wipes. Focus on buttons, handles, and other areas employees touch.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces, such as door knobs, elevator buttons, lunch and breakroom tables, etc.

We will continue to provide information on the coronavirus as it becomes available. To view training materials you can use to educate your employees about virus protection, visit https://www.clement.com/safety-training/virus-protection.html.