A renewed focus on public health and protection of essential workers is rapidly growing in these dynamic and unprecedented times. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been leading the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic with ever-changing recommendations on how to protect yourself and those around you. Suggestions include:
Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Implementation of glove and mask use
Experts strongly recommend that Healthcare workers, in particular, use a mask and gloves. However, there are other useful precautions to implement, particularly as an essential business, to proactively combat the spread of coronavirus. Safety shields, or more commonly referred to as “sneeze guards” or Point of Sale (POS) protection/partitions, can be a key tool at a variety of points of contact between customers and service providers.
What is a Safety Shield?
Safety shields are clear plastic, acrylic, polycarbonate, or glass sheets that offer a barrier between service providers and customers. But most importantly, because they are clear they do not restrict the visual connection. They have traditionally existed in the restaurant setting to protect food, particularly in self-serve environments, from air-borne and droplet contaminants. Safety shields in the food industry are certified by the NSF.
In addition to the dining environment, safety shields are useful in other retail and customer service interactions. For example, the register in a grocery store or a teller’s window at a bank are places of interaction between customers and employees. Many safety shields that are being implemented in stores, like Walmart and Whole Foods, will include a cut-out at the bottom to allow for the passage of small items (i.e. credit card, receipt, etc.).
3 Benefits of Safety Shields
There are several benefits to implementing safety shields at any point of contact between customers and service providers.:
Prevent the spread of air-borne and droplet-based contagions, like coronavirus, between customers and service providers.
Helps reinforce the CDC recommendation of social distancing.
Offers peace of mind to customers and service providers so that they know their health and safety is a priority.
These sneeze guards may also have long-term use as they can protect customers and service providers during cold and flu season as well.
Types of Safety Shields
There are a variety of size, shape, and mounting options when it comes to safety shields (some customizable). As noted earlier, many can either be bolted or adhered to a desk, window, or checkout lane between customers and service providers. Another option is a face shield, which individual users can wear in a multitude of settings, such as our first responder, and healthcare workers.
While combating the spread of COVID-19, there are a variety of tools we can use to continually promote public health. Safety shields are just one way that businesses can take that extra step for customers and employees. And many companies are shifting their production to focus on products that can help maintain public health. It’s amazing to see the American economy adapting so quickly to meet the needs of the country.