September 18, 2020 | Lee Easton The time has come for many of us to return to work. And honestly, it’s understandable if you have mixed feelings about it. While many are happy that they get to go back to some form of normalcy and start receiving paychecks again, there’s still mounting concerns about the higher risk of getting sick once you’re back in the workplace. Despite varying opinions about the COVID-19 virus and research that’s new and constantly unfolding, taking measures to keep yourself and those you come into contact with safe are not only recommended but, in a lot of cases, completely necessary. This is particularly true if you aren’t returning to an office environment, but instead, have a job that requires you to regularly interact with other people. Unfortunately, according to the Financial Times, those who work in a blue-collar job are more likely to contract the Coronavirus disease compared to those who work in an office or other white-collar environment. But even though the statistics can be scary, there are precautions you can take to make sure you’re as protected as possible. If you find yourself concerned about the best ways to keep yourself safe and healthy when returning to work, here are some tips. Check The Protections That Your Employer Has In Place If you don’t work for yourself but are employed by someone else, make sure to check any protective measures that your employer has put into place (and abide by them). These might include hand sanitizing stations, social distancing rules, or the availability of personal protective equipment like masks. Remember, your employer should be following any necessary regulations and ensuring that their employees are as safe as possible. Voice Your Concerns To Your Employer If your employer has done a good job of putting protective measures in place, that’s great! Just make sure that you follow those measures. However, if you are concerned about a lack of safety or you see something that gives you a reason to worry, speak up. Don’t just sit back and say nothing if you notice improper measures or behaviors. Make sure you present your concerns in a polite and constructive way, and if you have a good idea on how to improve safety measures in your workplace then bring that idea forward. Speak To Your Co-Workers Now isn’t the time to let things slide, particularly if it’s your health on the line. If you notice a co-worker who isn’t playing by the rules or isn’t being safe, politely ask them to please abide by the necessary safety precautions. You can also speak with your coworkers about watching each other’s backs and making sure you’re holding each other accountable for remembering to wear your masks or regularly wash your hands. Be Prepared No matter whether you work for an employer or for yourself, making sure that you’re personally prepared is essential. Keep a supply of clean masks on you and have that hand sanitizer handy! If your job requires you to enter someone else’s home or frequently reside in public spaces, it’s a good idea to have disposable gloves at the ready too. Keep Your Workspace Sanitized It doesn’t matter if it’s a desk or the back of your work van, keep your work area clean! Regularly wipe down your space and equipment with sanitizing wipes and try to avoid letting other people have direct contact with your work area or touch your equipment. Socially Distance Hopefully, we’re all getting better at this one, but it’s still just as paramount as ever! Remain that all-important 6 feet away from other people at all times. If you’re in an office-type space, avoid breakrooms or areas where people tend to congregate. Try taking the stairs instead of piling into the elevator. And if your job requires you to enter homes or public spaces, be aware of where others are standing and politely ask them to give you space while you work if need be. Avoid Public Transport This simply isn’t possible for everyone, but if you can, avoid public transport and find other ways to commute to work. Public transportation systems by nature put people within close contact with each other, and although measures are likely to have been put in place, it’s best to stay away from this form of commuting if possible. If you have the option to get to work another way, use it. It’ll keep you safer, and it will also mean there are fewer people on buses and trains, which is safer for those who don’t have any other option but to commute via public transportation. If you do have to take public transport, abide by their regulations, always wear a mask, and it’s a good idea to carry sanitizing wipes with you. Get tested If you are feeling any symptoms of COVID-19, get tested and quarantine until you get results. Don’t brush off the symptoms as no big deal. Your health is important not just for you and your family. It is also important to keep your employer and co-workers healthy. Maybe you’re relieved to go back to work, maybe you can’t wait to see your coworkers again, or maybe you’re just thankful to have something to do that doesn’t involve sitting around your house all day in pajamas. There are lots of positive points about returning to your job, but it’s understandable if you also have concerns about your health and safety. Although times are unpredictable and we can’t completely eliminate our chances of getting sick, there are precautions we can take and measures we can follow when returning to work to ensure that everyone stays as protected as possible. WORK WITH STAND-BY PERSONNEL If your goal is to move up in your career, find a new job, or get started down a new path altogether, Stand-By Personnel is here to help. Our experienced Tulsa staffing agency can help you find full-time or part-time employment. Contact Stand-By Personnel today or text ‘weldingjobs’ or ‘skilledjobs’ to 888-111 to see how we can help you accomplish your goals.