While every state’s health codes differ, we should all know that surfaces are to be sanitized and employees are to maintain a high standard of personal hygiene.
Make sure your staff knows how to use the cleaning chemicals you’ve chosen to keep on hand. This may seem simple but you know what they say about assumptions.
You and your staff must by familiar with the cleaning chemicals and health code requirements: intended area of use, frequency of use, and safe handling practices. If you want to get the best information possible, contact your cleaning chemical supplier and have them educate your staff on how to use their products.
Remember that there’s a difference between “clean” and “sanitized.” A clean surface or piece of equipment would pass a visible inspection. A sanitized surface or piece of equipment 99.9 percent free of bacteria.
If you work in bar (really, just about any industry), you should already know that you need to arrive to work clean. Staff members should wash their hands with antibacterial soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and immediately after using a washroom.
Like handling cleaning chemicals, staff members should receive mandatory training and documentation on personal hygiene.
Isolating Sick Employees
Survey revealed that 90 percent of Nigerians go to work when they’re sick. As you can imagine, this doesn’t help prevent the spread of diseases that are airborne or spread by human contact.
Operators should consider implementing a policy requiring sick staff members to stay home. Is this easier said than done? Yes. Many Nigerians don’t have the luxury of paid sick days or health care. Unfortunately, until the Health authorities says otherwise, sending sick employees home immediately may need to become a mandatory practice.
Addressing Employee Fears
It’s likely some of your employees are frightened, worrying about contracting COVID-19. Currently, the World Health Organization’s stance, per their coronavirus (COVID-19) Q&A webpage, is that it’s mainly those who have traveled to China, the very young, and the elderly who are at risk for developing serious effects.
Of course, hospitality professionals come into contact with people who travel all over the world. You and your employees likely have slightly higher risk for contracting COVID-19, as do other Nigerians who regularly come into contact with the general public.
With at least one confirmed case of coronavirus disease in Nigeria, it’s understandable and wise to be more aware of your surroundings and how you feel. Everyone should follow Nigeria Centre for Disease Control guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19:
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in crowd.
- Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. Do not engage in self-medication
- Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health.
For now, ensure your staff is trained on the use of cleaning chemicals, is adhering to health code cleaning and sanitizing requirements, coming to work clean in clean close, washing their hands properly, and staying home if sick.