The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything the world has ever seen or experienced. This infectious illness is impacting people of all ages and backgrounds from all over the world. Symptoms of this upper respiratory illness include coughing, fever, chills, and loss of breath. People are susceptible to catching this illness in all public places, especially public areas that feature large crowds because this illness is spread from person to person.
One of the major public areas of concern is the airport. With people traveling from all over the world, the airport acts as a breeding ground for the COVID-19 virus. Airport workers are subject to contracting COVD-19, especially catering, customer service, cargo, and ramp workers. Below is what you need to know COVID-19 as a cargo or baggage handler at the airport.
How Can I Protect Myself From COVID-19 as an Airport Worker?
It would be best if you took all the necessary precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19, including:
Pay Special Attention to Personal Cleanliness
To avoid contracting COVID-19 be sure to pay special attention to personal cleanliness by making small efforts such as:
- Wash your hands as much as possible for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Clean hands after blowing your nose/sneezing/coughing
- Clean hands after removing or putting on your face mask
Other Ways Airport Workers May Protect Themselves From COVID-19
Being proactive is the best way to preserve your health; here are some additional ways to do that as an airport worker:
- Limit your contact with other people; maintain a 6-foot distance whenever you can
- Frequently disinfect surfaces
- Wear proper PPE (personal protective equipment)
- Clean cargo, catering, customer service, and ramp equipment and transportation devices, such as radios, often.
- Wash your hands after loading or touching packages, bags, and cargo/dispose of gloves you wore to move baggage
Protecting yourself from COVID-19 doesn’t have to be challenging; in fact, it can be straightforward as long as you follow standard guidelines and make it a point to adhere to new ones.
Steps an Employer Should Take to Create a Safe Work Environment
Employers are just as responsible for employee safety. It is up to the employer to provide a safer and clean work environment for employees. Here are some steps that employers should take to create a safe work environment for cargo and baggage employees.
Make Sure to Provide the Right Sanitation
Employers must provide proper sanitation for employees, this includes:
- Hand sanitizer
- Soap and clean water/cleaning stations
- Disposable disinfectant wipes
- Gloves and face masks
Additionally, employers should encourage their employees to wipe down the baggage, cargo, and baggage transportation devices, radios, and vehicles as much as possible and provide employees with a frequently cleaned break room.
Keep Your Employees Informed
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst airport workers is to keep them informed. Employers should make it a point to get employees the right information when it comes to COVID-19 and have a designated person that can answer any questions about it.
Likewise, employers should implement training programs that will teach employees how to sanitize properly.
Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home
Employers should encourage sick employees to stay home without being penalized to stop the spread of COVID-19 best. Additionally, employers should implement flexible sick leave and support for employees that end up contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Employees should not be allowed to return to work until they fit specific criteria and have gotten the proper medical care that they needed.
Stay Up to Date on COVID-19
If you are a baggage or cargo handler, it will be worthwhile to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 information. Don’t be afraid to ask your employer questions about COVID-19 guidelines as well as safety and precautionary procedures.