Grocery stores and other essential retail centers are some of the world’s most valuable resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are a necessity in providing food and other resources to citizens who are staying home. Because of their importance and the high volumes of traffic, these facilities must be kept safe, clean, and avoid spreading the virus to employees or customers. Bob Campbell, of Alliance Solutions Group (ASG), offers some of ASG’s tips for making essential retail stores safe and effective for the public they serve.
The hierarchy of controls is a system used to measure methods of hazard prevention. From largest to smallest action step, the hierarchy of controls is as follows: Elimination of hazard, substitution of hazard, engineering controls (physical structures, barriers), administrative controls (policies, procedures), and personal protective equipment (masks, gloves).
Top 10 best practices recommended by ASG:
- Eliminate virus by disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like card readers and handles on carts
- Mandate use of hand sanitizer for customers when entering and leaving store
- No-touch policy on all goods (if you touch it, you buy it)
- Install a physical barrier, such as plexiglass, between customers and checkout employees
- No-contact transactions- placing cash onto counters instead of into a hand, handing off items carefully to avoid hand touching
- Use gloves to stop spread of virus, but with proper employer training to avoid misuse and a false sense of security
- Use of respiratory masks to protect workers as they are exposed to a high volume of customers, employers should have policies on use and provide proper training
- Frequent hand washing policy for store employees
- Physical distancing of six feet between individuals- make aisles one-way, impose six feet of distance policy on customers waiting at checkout
- Mandatory temperature checks for employees before start of shift each day
ASG is committed to providing services to help prepare communities for a safer, more secure tomorrow. They have provided thousands of training hours for first responders on hazardous material incidents, medical workers on infectious disease control measures, and industrial workplaces on hazard control and prevention. To learn more about how ASG could support you during this time, visit www.asg-inc.org or call 757-223-7233.
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