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Businesses Nationwide Installing Sneeze Guards Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Shelley Swearingen — April 6, 2020

Retailers across the country are doing their best to protect workers from contracting the coronavirus. To say the global economy has taken a hit from the coronavirus pandemic would be an understatement. Big box retailers and grocery stores are one of the few industries faring well during this time, but the high demand also brings big concerns.

These businesses are doing their best to protect their workers from falling ill, and it’s no easy task. Many have implemented shortened hours to disinfect stores between business days. Many are installing sneeze guards to add a layer of protection for workers on the ‘front lines’.

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that the respiratory virus is most commonly spread by coughing or exhaling. This added barrier is one more way business owners can protect their employees.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Employee retention is always difficult for the retail sector, and even more so now. People are hesitant to willingly expose themselves to the possibility of catching the coronavirus. Holding onto these workers requires that management does everything in their power to offer protection to employees.

Many retail giants (Wal-Mart, Costco, Kroger, Albertsons, and Publix1) have already begun installing sneeze guards at all US locations. A Chicago-area Walmart recently lost two employees after succumbing to COVID-19 2. The death of these employees demands more stringent safe guards. 

These protective barriers should be in place for any business requiring face to face interaction of employees and customers, and are not relegated exclusively to grocery stores. Banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations should also enforce the use of sneeze guards.

It could be argued that is an employer’s legal duty to acquire sneeze guards during these times. Through the Code of Federal Regulations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration demands:

Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment…” 29 CFR 1910.132

KL Security offers no-installation affordable sneeze guards available for purchase NOW. The plastic barriers are both lightweight and portable and come with a removable base for easy relocation. These sneeze guards are ready to go out of the box for immediate use. To purchase these for your organization click HERE or copy & paste this address into your browser: https://www.klsecurity.com/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=sneeze

The experts at KL Security are still available to answer any and all questions you may have when it comes to the protection of your facility. We’re experienced in assisting business leaders in all industries to fulfill compliance mandates and ensure overall preservation of best interests. Please reach out today: TOLL FREE 1-866-867-0306 or contact@klsecurity.com

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

  1. Hanbury, Mary. April 6, 2020. Sneeze guards, social distancing markers, and shopper limits: Here’s what US grocery chains are doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Business Insider Magazine. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/walmart-costco-target-adapt-stores-prevent-coronavirus-infection-2020-3#wegmans-8
  2. Duffy, Clare and Meyersohn, Nathaniel. April 5, 2020. Two workers at the same Walmart store die of coronavirus. CNN Business. Retrieved from: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/05/business/walmart-workers-coronavirus-deaths/index.html

Helpful Links:

United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulations https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.132

Centers for Disease Control: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

World Health Organization Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019