Once a common sight only in buffets and food service, acrylic sneeze guards and other protective panels are spreading in every industry. Shields and barriers are an effective strategy against disease transmission, including the novel Covid-19 virus. Whether needed for thousands of daily interactions with the public, or in workplaces of several coworkers, they can help in the fight again infectious disease.
Evaluate the configurations and uses of acrylic protection barriers to help your company safely run amidst the pandemic and beyond.
Safe Workplace Strategies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines to promote safe back to work strategies. State and local governments have applied further guidelines and mandates for businesses, and all are based on science to help prevent the spread of infection. You are familiar with the increased handwashing, hand sanitizing, masks, and social distancing.
These guidelines include keeping six feet of distance between employees, but with each other and with the public whenever possible. Often, it is not possible. This is when barriers can help.
Acrylic Sneeze Guards and Barriers
Barriers are an essential tool to fight disease transmission. The transmission of viruses like Covid-19 is often through respiratory droplets expelled by the lungs. Breathing and talking spread droplets and coughing and sneezing do so more dramatically. When you cough, you can do so at 50 mph, spreading nearly 3,000 droplets. A single sneeze can be double that speed and can spread around 100,000 droplets. That is where the common term "sneeze guard" comes in for barriers, protective panels, and shields.
First created in the 1950s, sneeze guards soon became mandatory for buffets and other restaurant and foodservice settings. The barriers are usually transparent and made of glass or plastic. Manufacturers often choose acrylic for these barriers due to the safety, easy cleaning, weight, transparency, and customization possible. Acrylic is scratch-resistant, so you can clean and disinfect it daily, as recommended, and it will remain transparent and smooth.
To apply acrylic barriers effectively, start by evaluating your facility. Consider at high-risk all employees who interact with the public, such as tellers, receptionists, and cashiers. Place protective panels to shield these employees from the customers they serve.
Next, identify the areas of interaction that place coworkers too close together, such as line workers or office workers in cubicles. Try to move furniture and job stations if possible. When you cannot physically separate the workspaces, install barriers.
When you configure your barriers, make sure to safely cover the entire window of interaction. Make them tall enough and wide enough for sitting and standing. Commonly, the range is based on people from five to six feet tall interacting. Your barrier designs should also allow for any pass-through interactions, like signing documents or handing over credit cards.
Safe Habits Beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic
As you consider your company's needs for protective equipment, think long-term. Many industry leaders and health experts feel that the new safety precautions will be here to stay well past the current Covid-19 pandemic. You can control a wide range of infectious diseases through the same safety practices.
Invest in guards and barriers that are high quality and will last your company for years. Look into the design of your facility and find areas to incorporate protective shields into your design. Transparent, high-quality acrylic will still allow light and visibility while giving peace of mind to your employees and customers.
Evaluate your workplace for areas where more protective shields might boost of the safety your facility. At MGM Plastics, we are working hard to supply what you need. Contact us today about our wide range of custom safety products.