Coronavirus: 13 ways to secure your workplace – WHO

Nigerians wearing face mask since the first case of Coronavirus hit the country.


Nigeria on Thursday announced the first confirmed case of Corona virus (COVID-19) which has been plaguing many countries across the world.

This makes it the third confirmed case in Africa, and more cases might still be detected as there is yet no respite from the ongoing outbreak.

While the World Health Organisation had declared it a health issue of global concern, the federal government also said it has been putting in place measures to contain an eventual outbreak of the disease in the country.

However, to successfully contain the outbreak, every section of our society – including businesses and employers – must play a role, it said.

As at Friday, over 75,000 people have been infected and 2,500 people have died from the disease outbreak.

The respiratory disease is capable of spreading through human-to-human contact, droplets carried through sneezing and coughing, and germs left on inanimate objects.

Symptoms of the disease can include a sore throat, runny nose, fever or pneumonia and can progress to multiple organ failure or death in some severe cases.

WHO compiled some tips on how to secure your workplace.

How COVID-19 spreads

Covid-19 can spread when someone infected with the virus coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid.

Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects – such as desks, tables or telephones.

People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If they are standing within one meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them.

Risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40.

Also, people with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are also more vulnerable to serious illness.


Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic. Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly. Why? Because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreadsPromote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers.

Put sanitisers and hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled.

Display posters promoting hand-washing – ask your local public health authority for these or look on

Combine this with other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefings at meetings and information on the intranet to promote hand-washing.

Make sure that staff, contractors and customers have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water. Why? Because washing kills the virus on your hands and prevents the spread of COVID19.

Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace.

Ensure that face masks and/or paper tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them Why? Because good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of COVID-19.

Advise employees and contractors to consult national travel advice before going on business trips.

Consider issuing employees who are about to travel with small bottles (under 100 CL) of alcohol-based hand rub. This can facilitate regular hand-washing.


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