Last year, businesses nationwide closed their doors as countries across the world stayed home to regroup and figure out how to operate in the midst of a pandemic. Today, businesses are once again bustling. But as of March 2021, the CDC and OSHA aren’t mandating rules, and we believe that’s a problem. How are businesses supposed to know how to operate safely without federally approved guidelines? The rules are staggered nationwide, with many states going their own way, undermining the containment of the virus and the safety of these businesses.
Worse yet, in some parts of the country state governments are actively undermining the slowing of the spread. On March 2, Gov. Greg Abbot (R-Texas) surprised the nation when he announced that the state was ready to ditch its mask mandate and open businesses at 100% capacity. This spits in the face of recommendations from medical professionals, especially with the country entering the vaccine phase.
Luckily, businesses and consumers are stepping up to fill this massive gap left by their government. The Facebook group Have Mask? Will Shop/TX is a collective of individuals and businesses who will take masking up into their own hands, despite state orders. Not only will they keep wearing masks everywhere they go, but they will refuse to patronize businesses that don’t require customers to wear masks.
It’s a sad state of affairs that it’s come to this, but having a good PPE strategy for your business is the only prudent move you can make going forward. Just because your local government is dropping the ball doesn’t mean you should. Luckily, a good PPE strategy not only makes for good employees and happy customers, it makes for good business.
One easy step you can do when establishing a good PPE strategy is to PPE for your employees, but not all masks are created equal. We recommend the surgical masks made by Austin-based retailer Armbrust. They have the coveted ASTM Level III rating, are hypoallergenic, and even made in the USA. With 99.2% bacterial and particle filtration, you can rest assured that you’ll be covered.
A second, easily enforced rule is to mandate all customers wear masks when in your place of business. Why not offer them a mask before entering? That way, customers are left without an excuse. It may be tempting to bend to the will of anti-maskers, but every mask-less person is a detriment to the health of your business and your workers.
Stocking up to keep customers and employees alike safe when in your place of business is easier than ever now that Armbrust is offering bulk masks for small businesses. You can buy 500 high-quality masks in a single box, which should be plenty for a month, depending on how much foot traffic you get. We also recommend keeping a small stockpile, just in case supply lines run dry (or the more likely event of shipping delays due to weather).
You don’t have to dig too deep for what inaction brings in a situation like this. Who can forget last year when meat and poultry processing plants in the U.S. saw massive outbreaks of COVID-19 due to improper working conditions? This included poor PPE, lack of regular worker screening, and failure to implement extra sanitary measures. Not only did it affect meat supply lines, it led to 16,233 cases across 239 facilities.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. Regular screenings and encouraging workers to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms would be beneficial as well. Ensuring that your place of business has both the best weapons of defense against COVID-19, as well as contingency plans to clamp down further risks not only makes for a safe workplace, it makes for a profitable one.
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