Last year, 29% of America's entire workforce were forced to perform their jobs at home to allay new cases of COVID-19. For industries who do not have the luxury to opt for ‘work from home’ arrangements, doubling efforts to protect themselves while at work is necessary especially this year as everyone is gearing up to open up more offices to cause an economic rebound.
To keep everyone safe, here are three of the most COVID-19-prone workplaces according to the Occupational Information Network (OIN) and how they are observing the proper safety measures.
For an occupation that deals with oral concerns, a virus like COVID-19 that can be transmitted via droplets or aerosol particles, dental professionals have the highest risk of being infected with COVID-19. Dental hygienists specifically have a 99.7 OIN risk score.
To prevent themselves from contracting the virus, dental professionals have resorted to lesser drilling and germ sprays that can produce aerosol particles in the air when with a patient. Add to this extra precautions such as external oral air scrubbers, dental dams, and extra layers of personal protective equipment (PPEs) including face shields and medical-grade filtering respirators like the N95 and KN95 varieties.
Respiratory Therapy units
Respiratory therapists also have a high 95 risk score from the OIN as they are the ones who deal with severe upper respiratory illnesses, operate ventilators, and help patients’ with breathing problems while on treatment.
To protect themselves from the coronavirus, these professionals have upgraded their knowledge on PPEs, and adjusted their protocols on hand hygiene with the use of alcohol-based hand rubs, soap, and water; no facial contact while on the job; the practice of coughing and sneezing into a bent elbow or tissue and its proper disposal; social distancing; and the test-fitting of medical-grade face masks or N95 and KN95 respirators and their proper disposal after use.
Sports Medicine Clinics
While every professional who is in the field of medicine is automatically at high-risk for COVID-19, sports physicians surprisingly rank high in the OIN risk list with a score of 94.6. This, considering that most sports have been suspended for the whole of 2020.
However, the resumption of athletic training this 2021 has forced sports physicians to adapt to the challenges. Then there are required surgeries and therapies for sports injuries that they also have to deal with despite the pandemic. This entailed giving more importance to every athlete’s overall health while also practicing the proper safety protocols considering that most young and strong athletes may be asymptomatic.
As in all workplaces, sports medicine physicians across the country such as the Peninsula Orthopedic Associates in California, have also implemented new normal best practices such as social distancing (telehealth consultations have become an alternative), proper hand hygiene, and the strict wearing of filtering masks such as N95 and KN95 respirators when dealing with their patients.
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