Installing sneeze guards and implementing distancing measures is something that should be made a top priority since the coronavirus is far from over.
Because as much as people would want to work from home to keep themselves safe from contacting COVID-19, there are companies that have to go back to the regular office set-up in order to operate more efficiently.
In return, this puts companies responsible for making sure that their employees are as safe as they can be within the workplace.
According to the American Lung Association, coughs and sneezes are the body's way to release irritants that are found in the nose and lungs. This makes people expel all kinds of germs and bugs at high-speed rates, a violent method of spreading bacteria via sprays of saliva and mucus.
Coughs can travel as quickly as 50 mph and can expel almost 3000 droplets in just one cough. Sneezes are even faster, which can travel as fast as 100 mph and produce 100,000 droplets.
The Importance of Putting Sneeze Guards in the Office
While it's true that social distancing is the best way to slow the spreading of the virus and keep it at manageable levels, not all organizations are unable to implement this effectively or consistently.
It's not because they are unable to make the effort—it's just that the nature of their business can make distancing people tricky.
Interactions between employees seated in side-by-side cubicles or between tellers and bank customers are hard to control. The same is true with factory workers lined up at the assembly line. There are simply instances that full social distancing can't be achieved.
This is why companies need to resort to other ways such as installing sneeze guards and other protective barriers—to keep the workplace safe and healthy.
Cough and sneeze guards were first introduced during the 1950s, which was in restaurants. This was to keep diners from contaminating food on eat-all-you-can buffets and salad bars.
Now it's essential to mount these sneeze guards in strategic areas practically everywhere, from grocery stores to post offices, in order to keep everything coronavirus-free.
Sneeze guards cannot be regarded as medical devices, but it qualifies as personal protective equipment that slows the transmission of the disease. This is especially helpful when employees are customers who do not or cannot wear masks.
Having sneeze guards inside a store and office serves as an assurance that the business is prioritizing safety, which helps greatly in retaining customers and employees.
Where to Install Sneeze Guards in the Office or Store
These areas are the most common places where sneeze guards and other forms of protective barriers should be mounted:
- Cash Registers - This is one of the areas with the highest risk of transmission since money and transactions are exchanged here. This is why cash registers should be one of the priority areas when mounting sneeze guards.
- Meeting Rooms - you really can't stop staff and employees from convening together in one room at least once a week to discuss important matters in the workplace.
While wearing masks should be observed, it helps immensely if there are also sneeze guards in place to further lessen the chances of droplets being exchanged during conversations.
- Between Cubicles - this can be tricky when the office has adapted an open space setup, but health concerns require making necessary changes.
You can't really stop employees from communicating with one another while they are in their respective cubicles and not all are privileged enough to have their own private offices. Sneeze guards installed between cubicles will serve as added protection from those in the group-work settings.
- Waiting Rooms - this is especially important for businesses that have to constantly accommodate people coming in and out of the reception area. Chances are there will be more than one person that will spend some time in the waiting room, so having dividers or guards between the seats is something to consider.
A sneeze guard at the receptionist's table will also protect the person in charge of getting infected while entertaining people coming in and out.
- Restrooms - when it comes to the toilet, a ladies’ room should not be a problem because there are already individual stalls for each user. It's a different thing when it comes to men's rooms, so having dividers between each urinal can be installed. Having dividers between sinks should be considered as well.
- Entranceway - considering the level of traffic in this area, protecting this area should be a no-brainer. Aside from barriers, the company should always put hand sanitizers in the entrance so that people can easily clean their hands before entering the premises.
Other Things to Consider
Aside from location, you also need to consider design and material when purchasing and installing sneeze guards for the workplace.
When it comes to design, you have to choose sneeze guards that are tall and wide enough to protect a person whether he is sitting or standing.
The ideal size is calculated based on the proportions of the average-size customer. The barrier should be able to provide cover during full interaction.
It's best to get shields that are tough enough to withstand the daily wear and tear. How long shields will last depends on the kind of environment. For instance, clean rooms will require barriers to be disinfected as frequently as possible.
You need shields made of a material that can remain tough despite constant deep cleaning that requires the use of cleaning agents and hot temperatures. Cleaning liquids that contain alcohol, ammonia, ethanol, and hydrogen peroxide can take its toll on barriers.
Speaking of materials, sneeze guards and other barriers often come in tempered glass (plexiglass) or polycarbonate.
While many will do fine with using the former, using polycarbonate shields do have lots of advantages. This material is more resistant to scratches, which reduces the risk of bacteria getting wedged between the scratches.
A Trusted Supplier Will Make a Big Difference
If you’re looking for acrylic sneeze guards and other protective barriers, you will find what you need at Displays & Holders. We cater to your installation needs, so you can effectively maintain a safe environment for your employees and customers.
We offer quality and durable personal protective equipment (PPE) and dispensers, signages and imprinting services, customized frames and holders, table dividers, and sneeze guards, among others.
Let's get started in protecting your workplace. Contact us at Displays&Holders today!