Preventative Measures – Ten-Steps to Help Protect Your BPO Against the Coronavirus
The BPO and Call Centre sectors are already traditionally prone to colds and flu, and cross-contamination between employees. The majority of the industry is based in high rise buildings, where employees work in tight office situations and come into close contact in lifts and other communal areas.
A lot of employees also work night-shifts and long hours, which tends to make them tired and more prone to coughing and other infectious diseases.
On top of this, call centre headsets are riddled with infections and laboratory tests show that they contain millions of bacteria & germs.
So just how ready is the sector in preparing for a potential crisis like the Coronavirus?
The Chinese manufacturing sector has been hit hard by the effects of the coronavirus and the BPO sector should be aware of the risk and should at the very least be addressing the low hanging fruit in their own environment and taking steps to ensure that their employees and work environments are as protected and safe as possible.
One can only imagine the disruption to BPO clients if call centres were quarantined or staff couldn’t show up for work.
So what should the BPO sector be doing to stay safe and what steps could they be taking to keep their people and workplace risk-free?
Here are Ten-Steps to Help Protect Your BPO Environment & Employees Against the Coronavirus
1. Use Ozone Headset Sterilizing Cabinets.
“Ozone gas has been proven to kill the SARS coronavirus and since the structure of the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus is almost identical to that of the SARS coronavirus, it is (not unrealistic to assume) that it will also work on the new coronavirus. (It must be noted) that there are no studies to date except one that is currently ongoing in China at the Institute of Virology In Hubei with regards to this.”
“There are more than 17 scientific studies that show Ozone gas is able to destroy the SARS coronavirus.”
(Numerous families of viruses including poliovirus I and 2, human rotaviruses, Norwalk virus, Parvoviruses, and Hepatitis A, B and non-A non-B are among many others that are susceptible to the virucidal actions of ozone)
2. Use HR Department to Pro-Actively Encourage Preventative Measures
Human Resource Departments of BPO’s can pro-actively encourage WHO Personal Hygiene Practices in their work environments with educational materials or posters (especially with regard to personal hygiene practices and coughing etiquette)
3. Ozone sterilize call centre headsets on a weekly basis (make sure your headsets are Ozone approved and that they will not be damaged by ozone)
4. If somebody has been booked off work for a cold, flu, cough, chest cold, ear infection or chest infection, insist that on their return to work, they ozone sterilize their headset every day for 3 to 5 days, to ensure that they do not simply re-infect themselves and their team members.
5. Do not allow your employees to share headsets under any circumstances, and make sure that you ozone sterilize all used headsets before you re-issue them.
6. Provide Team-Leaders with face masks. If anybody in their team is coughing or sneezing they should be encouraged to wear a face mask. If their coughing symptoms persist or if the employees develop difficulties in breathing or shortness of breath, they have to go to a clinic or health facility.
7. Provide Team Leaders with hand sanitizer dispensers and instruct them to ensure that their teams use it regularly.
8. Ensure that your cleaning teams check that there is plenty of hand washing soap and tissue paper available in canteens and bathrooms.
9. Clean touch-points like elevator buttons, doorknobs multiple times each day.
10. Encourage employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, exercise and plenty of sleep.
The responsibility lies with each and every one of us to do our part to stop the spread of this disease and to help ensure that it will not enter our call-centre space, the community we live in, or our homes and families.
These are simple preventive measures that do not require medication or vaccine and that are simple and inexpensive to implement.