Why now is NOT the time to do away with COVID PPE
It seems like the COVID-19 pandemic has been never-ending, so is it about time that we stopped with the PPE and started getting our workplaces back to normal?
According to how the current statistics are looking, definitely not.
Last month, Niamh O’Beirne, the national lead for test and tracing for The Health and Safety Executive told the Irish Independent that a very high amount of the new COVID-19 cases can be linked to workplace environments.
These statistics are coming as many restrictions, like wearing masks and the rule of 6, have been lifted across most of the UK and the majority of staff brought back from furlough.
Between 13 July and 9 August 2021, coronavirus cases linked to workplace outbreaks accounted for just over 35% of new cases in the country. This is a clear signal that now is not the time to be ditching the PPE. Instead, it suggests that we should be placing more importance on this in the workplace to help bring the number of new cases down.
Although the vaccine programmes have been kicking in and the majority of the adult population, and your employees, are fully vaccinated, this does not mean that the virus can’t continue to spread or affect those that have been double-jabbed.
Here are three reasons why now is NOT the time to do away with COVID PPE:
- COVID cases are still rising
In recent weeks, largely down to a lack of social distancing over the summer months and coronavirus restrictions lifting, we’ve seen a rise in COVID cases. As we approach the winter period when colds and flu become more prevalent, we can also expect to see COVID cases increase further.
Due to the large number of cases that are coming from the workplace, it’s important as managers to do what they can to encourage staff to protect themselves, and others, from catching the virus. You can do this by putting in place stricter PPE policies and offering regular workplace training.
- PPE is proven to be effective at reducing the transmission of COVID-19
As well as regular hand-washing and social distancing, simple COVID PPE such as face masks has been proven to limit the spread of coronavirus in settings where people are close to one another.
A small act, such as wearing a mask while working, is relatively easy to implement in your workplace but can make a very big difference and protect the health of your employees.
- Many people are still nervous about catching COVID
The pandemic is far from over, and because of this, there are many people that are still fearful of catching COVID, especially if they’ve recently been brought back from furlough.
Safety at work is a top priority for all employers, and one aspect of this is ensuring that our employees feel comfortable and not at risk of catching the virus through wearing COVID PPE.