Implementing Basic Infection Prevention Measures In Your Mailroom
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), "for most employers, protecting workers will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures." Your mailroom should follow suit and encourage all employees to maintain good hygiene and infection control practices. Read the full OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 PDF here.
Basic COVID-19 Hygiene and Infection Control Measures Include:
- Promote frequent and thorough handwashing
- Encourage employees to stay home if they are sick
- Promote respiratory etiquette
- Provide ample tissues and trash cans to staff and package recipients
- Implement social distancing policies for staff and package recipients
- Discourage contact with shared devices and equipment
- Maintain housekeeping practices
Promoting Frequent and Thorough Handwashing
Frequent and thorough handwashing is a primary infection prevention measure effective against most pathogens, such as COVID-19. Your mailroom staff and package recipients should have a place to wash their hands near your mailroom. OSHA recommends providing alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol if there is no restroom readily available in your mailroom. Keeping a hand sanitizer/wipe station at the front of your mailroom is an excellent place to remind both staff and package recipients to disinfect frequently.
Encourage Mailroom Employees to Stay Home If They Are Sick
Communicate the importance of how COVID-19 spreads to your employees and that if they are sick or experience symptoms, stay home. Create posters, send company-wide emails, and remind staff during pre-shift meetings of this recommendation.
Promote Respiratory Etiquette in your Mailroom
Create posters and flyers to remind all mailroom entrants of the importance of respiratory etiquette. This etiquette includes covering coughs and sneezes to limit the spread of airborne pathogens.
Provide Ample Tissues and Trach Cans within your Mailroom
Ensure that all staff and package recipients have access to tissues within the mailroom for use in contacting surfaces, door handles, and if they have to sneeze. It is also essential to provide multiple trash cans for discarding any tissues, wipes, or packaging.
Implement Social Distancing Policies within your Mailroom
We cover social distancing measures more in-depth in our Develop a COVID-19 Disease Preparedness & Response Plan for Your Mailroom Guide. The goal of implementing social distancing policies such as separated tape markings on the floor and staggered work shifts is to decrease the occupancy in your mailroom at any given time. This is to minimize the spread of pathogens between individuals.
Discourage Contact with Shared Devices and Equipment
Depending on your mailroom and package delivery process, you may require the use of clipboards, devices, and signature pads to maintain accountability and report on package intake and pickup. If you cannot prevent contact with devices/equipment crucial to mailroom operations, ensure that you have adequate supplies of approved sanitization wipes to disinfect surfaces after each interaction. However, if you can decrease contact, attempt to do so to minimize the spread of pathogens.
You may want to explore an alternative package management solution, such as PackageX Scan & Track, that features a contactless package signout process. Scan & Track allows for package recipients to choose between signing out packages with a signature, or by having a photo taken at check out. You can read more about other PackageX Scan & Track features here.
Maintain Housekeeping Practices in your Mailroom
Regular housekeeping in your mailroom, such as frequent disinfecting of tables, devices, and shared equipment, will help minimize the spread of pathogens like COVID-19. OSHA recommends selecting cleaning chemicals and products that are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. OSHA states, "Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 based on data for harder to kill viruses." As always, please ensure that your team follows manufacturer instructions for all cleaning and disinfectant products to promote efficacy.
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