How to Protect Yourself on the Job During a Pandemic

BY Jesi Bolandrina

18 Mar, 2020

How to Protect Yourself on the Job During a Pandemic

BY Jesi Bolandrina

With all of the news outlets telling you to practice “social distancing” and to stay and work from home, you’re among millions of people asking themselves the same questions. “Can I afford to stay home and not work?” “If I do work…is it safe?”

Concerts, sporting events, schools, offices–they’ve all come to a stop. But bills and everyday needs haven’t. “Every gig worker that’s working right now is doing it [working] because they can’t afford not to—they’re living week to week, and there is no backup,” said Sarah Clarke, an organizer and Amazon Flex driver in Mountain View, California, in an article posted by Mother Jones.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says “the immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans,” we wanted to give you steps to follow to put you at ease so you can still work during this outbreak. We encourage healthy workers in non-outbreak areas to follow these guidelines so you can feel informed and empowered to continue to work. However, if you feel sick or are living with or taking care of someone who is sick, we recommend that you follow CDC guidelines and self-isolate for your and the community’s protection.

Jobblers protect yourself on the job

Before the Job Begins

At Jobble, we are dedicated to keeping our Job Board active and accurate. We are working diligently with our business partners to ensure the job posts all reflect current needs, so you can apply to real work in your area. We still advise applying to any job you are willing to work to increase your chances of being hired and having a steady work schedule. When you are hired, standard shift preparation should be exercised but there are also a few other factors to consider before you head out to the job site.

If you utilize public transportation to reach your job site, be sure to check your city’s transportation website to see if there are any adjustments to the schedules or fares so you can plan your commute accordingly. Many cities are seeing a decrease in riders and many are reducing service as a result.

The Verge reports that, “Transit agencies have increased the frequency of cleanings and installed hand sanitizer dispensers at subway and bus hubs, but a growing number of people are opting to avoid public transportation altogether.” If you do have to take public transportation, those measures coupled with staying 6-feet from your fellow riders, wearing gloves to minimize touching surfaces, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands immediately after can lessen your chances of exposure.

If at all possible, walking or riding a bike is considered among the safest ways to travel. Dr. Robyn Gershon, a professor of epidemiology at New York University’s School of Global Public Health, told Cubed New York, “If you have to travel, the outdoors is a way to really dilute anything that could be around you. The sunlight is also really good because it’s a natural disinfectant.”

It is important to consider your own safety when accepting a job and we want you to feel comfortable getting yourself to and from the job site. If you do not have a safe form of transportation to your shift, make sure you quit the job on the platform so your hiring manager knows not to expect you.

While Working

It is crucial to understand that job opportunities that are available now are in high demand. Jobble has increased efforts to fulfill the expanding demand of hourly workers for the supply-chain industries. Many of these stocking and warehousing positions are small teams who work multiple shifts and days to accomplish their goals.

The CDC says that no additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning (targeting frequently touched surfaces) is recommended at this time. Bringing your own disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer is good practice in case your work site runs low or out of these supplies.

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), jobs outside of healthcare that do not direct contact with infected individuals are considered “Low Exposure Risk.” Workers in this category should do the following:

    • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Use only your own phone, desk, work tools or equipment and sanitize them after use.

It is important to note that the CDC does not recommend that healthy people wear facemasks – these are only recommended for people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. By following the guidelines above, healthy workers can continue to work together at job sites in a safe way.

After the Shift Ends

Once you’re done with your work, it is important to record your hours and keep your job-related emails – just like you should when any job ends. Additionally, it is good practice to wash and disinfect anything you brought to the worksite, from your clothes to your shoes to your phone.

We recommend checking the Jobble job board often to stay on top of all of your local opportunities. You may have the chance to work for the same company more than once, or be hired for one with new needs. Because so many Americans are currently out of work, we encourage all Jobblers to take advantage of the opportunities as they arise.

What If I Don’t Feel Well?

The most critical guideline we have is: If you don’t feel well, stay home. Jobble won’t penalize you for making the safest decision for yourself and your community.

In the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, your entire household should stay at home if anyone in the house has tested positive for the coronavirus. Additionally, if anyone feels sick, you should contact your medical provider to set up a consultation.

You should always be monitoring yourself and your health, and be honest if you have any concerns. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. The emergency signs are “difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face.”

The most important thing to do if you don’t feel well is stay home and consult your medical provider. Your safety is paramount and there will not be any job-related penalties for Jobblers who need to miss or leave a shift for health concerns.

Jobble is really focusing on our mission of putting Americans to work, while also assisting hourly employees who are now out of work due to government mandated closures of public events, restaurants, and bars. By following safe practices, we are confident that we can get our healthy and eager Jobbler workforce out there feeling informed and empowered to continue working.

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