Amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised healthcare workers to use personal protective equipment (PPE) effectively. This includes wearing gowns, face masks and shields, and eyeglasses when dealing with suspected Covid-19 cases.
With that, experts leading the Covid-19 battle, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, also have issued guidelines on the best PPE practices for purchasing and installing/configuring PPE equipment in office locations. Here is a guide and useful tips on the best PPE practices for offices as the world continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
How to Properly Wear Your PPE As A Healthcare Worker
The CDC has stated that there are different ways users can don their PPEs in healthcare facilities. This guide includes the following tips:
- Choose the correct PPE (gown)size
- Follow hand hygiene protocols by sanitizing them
- Fix your isolation gown by tying the ties. Seek help from personnel when necessary.
- Wear the appropriate N95 mask (or a respirator)
- Wear your face shield or goggles
- Fix your hand gloves. These should cover the wrist of the gown.
- Having worn all the necessary PPEs, a healthcare worker can then visit the patient room.
On the Shea Shield website, you can order PPE, such as face shields and sneeze guards. There are also floor barriers or room dividers and social distancing signage. Indoor and outdoor signage can help visitors know that your environment practices Covid-19 safety protocols.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also spelled out COVID safety for offices.
Personal Protective Equipment
OSHA admits that although practicing administrative and engineering measures can help offices minimize their risks of exposure to the virus, the use of PPEs can also reduce Covid-19 transmission.
Correctly using personal protective equipment can help minimize one's exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nevertheless, PPEs shouldn't stand-in for all other Covid-19 preventive measures. During viral outbreaks such as the Covid-19, PPE recommendations may vary from profession to profession, and according to geographic locations.
Employers are encouraged to equip their employees with PPEs to keep them safe at the office.
On the best COVID tips for offices, OSHA summarizes that all PPE types need to be:
- Chosen depending on the hazard to workers
- Fitted and refitted correctly
- Routinely inspected and replaced when necessary
- Removed appropriately after use, cleaned thoroughly and disposed of to prevent re-contamination
Benefits of Using PPE And Positive Public Health Outcomes
According to the WHO, 80% of Covid-19 patients recover from the disease without special treatment. 1 out of 5 infected people develop severe breathing difficulties and require hospitalization.
Despite being at the forefront of the Covid-19 battle, healthcare workers who correctly used the appropriate Covid-19 PPEs didn't contract the deadly virus, a Chinese publication in the BMJ concluded.
In summary, this means that PPEs offer adequate protection against the virus. In the study conducted in Wuhan, China, all 420 intensive care healthcare workers provided with appropriate PPEs tested negative for the virus after working for 6-8 weeks.