How can you protect those who must work LESS than 6 feet apart? Look to mold remediation practices for clues

by Brianna Crandall — July 27, 2020 — States around the US as well as countries around the world are currently in various stages of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic. Various businesses and facilities are opening their doors under certain restrictions, such as requiring masks, “social distancing” by keeping six feet of space between people, and regular disinfection of break rooms, bathrooms, and other common areas to kill the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Many employers are adopting guidance established by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as central to their safe reopening plan. Each of these agencies highlights the importance of creating six feet of distance to reduce the risk of exposure and infection to the virus.

However, maintaining six feet of distance is not possible for many organizations and types of jobs, and none of the guidance includes sufficient protocols for the scenarios within the sensitive six-foot perimeter, according to a new campaign and website that aims to help fill that gap in guidance.

The new campaign, Back to Work After COVID, says that this means people will be returning to work environments without all the knowledge that they and their employers need to reduce their personal risk of infection and contribute to potential outbreaks.

Research shows that exposure to the COVID-19 virus over time creates increased risk. This has been amplified in outbreaks at food packaging plants, restaurants, and senior care facilities, to name a few, says the campaign.

Tony Madureira, founder of Back to Work After COVID and founder and president of community restoration specialist AV Builder Corp., is a professional mold remediator who has been protecting his employees from mold, which has the same .3-micron particles as the virus, for about 15 years with no incidents, according to the campaign.

Madureira asserts the scientific-based recommendations for mold by professional hygienists hold the key to his success rate within the six-foot infection zone, and cautions that businesses and employees need guidance within that zone in order to realize greater safety outcomes.

Citing insufficient guidance from OSHA, CDC, and the State of California’s Workplace Specific Plan, Madureira explained:

We started this public awareness campaign so business, community and local government leaders can become aware of the gap in guidance and get the critical information that is absent from current credible resources. California represents the country’s largest state economy. If we’re going to lead in the comeback, we cannot ignore this critical, identified risk.

Back to Work After COVID, founded by Tony Madureira to address the need for added guidance for workers unable to effectively do their job while maintaining a six-foot distance, invites employers and employees to access infectious zone demonstrations, education and business strategies to help them operate safely in the six-foot environment.

The campaign offers explanations about personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles, gloves, gowns/suits and booties, along with detailed instructions and photos of how to put them on, take them off, and clean them, along with additional guidelines.

The campaign seeks to encourage government and regulatory bodies to provide organizations with the guidelines to improve workplace safety at the six-foot infectious zone during the age of COVID-19 and for future COVID-19-like maladies.