Updated: Mar 18, 2020
Yesterday I was stepping out bit for a fresh air, I overheard conversation about current "Covid-19" and work. As responsible citizens we are all aware of our role in preventing exposure to this and following most recommended precautions of social distancing, social isolation, maintaining hand hygiene, knowing our risk if any symptoms appear. As current situation demands huge resources of masks and sanitisers to aid in prevention of exposure are in short supply. Best situation is to stay content in your home. But that may not be possible for every single person.
Work place is in traditional sense is changing and certain occupations or jobs can not be carried out and hence some people may need to be at their designated work places such as security officers, server room workers, health care professionals, delivery professionals etc.
As an occupational therapist and Ergonomist, helping people proactively with their work place health, first and important point is " Hand Hygiene Safety"!
How can we prevent contact to surfaces? When it has to be what are quick steps one should take?
Being an Occupational therapist and practising rehabilitation in my earlier days I have treated no. of bilateral hand injuries, it could be hand trauma, severe and chronic hand pain, teaching patients to be independent in their "occupation".
How do these people with impaired hand functions cope with daily demands of life?
We can apply some of those learning now in order to prevent exposure to "Covid-19"
In occupational therapy philosophy is "occupation/doing"! We as human being need to be active. Occupation is defined as active or "doing"of a person engaged in goal oriented, intrinsically gratifying and culturally appropriate activity.
Occupation is essential part of human nature, and it is not just limited to work
To remain active, to prevent exposure to "Covid-19", yet be able to conduct work task, to reduce overuse of sanitisers as they need to be available for real needy situations.
Here are some simple steps:
1. To open close doors/push action:
To open and close doors without using hands, lean into the door, use your body weight to open the door.
This will help to reduce contact with your hand and prevent strain on your back. Put your clothes in laundry to wash when you are home.
2. Operating Switches/ buttons:
When you need to push switches/buttons and need some minimal strength, use your folded elbow, bony prominence to operate.
Make sure you go home and wash your entire arm from above elbow area to fingers.
3. To open/close door/pull action:
To open or close certain types or doors or whenever these is pull action needed, look for a handle, know where you can hook your forearm around it to apply some strength and cause pull to open.
As mentioned before when you go home wash your arms with generous amount of soap from above elbow area.
4. For tabletop surfaces, before you settle at your desk, wipe it clean with sanitiser once. Wipe your keyboard, mouse clean. Now look at chair handles/arm rests that we use no. of times to get in and out chair. Wipe it once unless people come frequently to your desk and touch these areas.
5. Be aware and reduce touching to your face. touch your face only after washing hands thoroughly and after using hand sanitisers.
At Body Dynamics, our motto is "Health in your hands!", Times have come, that it is literally "The TRUTH"!
if you have any questions, suggestions on above topic, feel free to send me mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and will try my best to reply to your queries.
Happy working, stay safe, stay healthy and keep people around you healthy free of exposure to "Covid-19"
Here is a link to a page on the World Health Organisation website that shares valuable information on How to Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus. It is really important during this time to get your information from the authorities on the subject. Stay safe by being obedient to the guidelines suggested by experts.
OTR CEAS AOEAS