If you’ve visited a grocery store, carryout restaurant, or customer service desk at nearly any essential business over the past several months, there’s a decent chance you may have come into contact with sneeze guards. These clear partitions have become a huge part of the reopening plan for businesses and organizations across the country. And they’ve provided some quick and effective safety assistance for both workers and visitors.
Sneeze guards are designed to provide a physical barrier between two sides. Usually, one side is reserved for employees like cashiers or customer service representatives, and the other for customers or members of the general public. This prevents the two sides from coming into direct contact while completing a transaction or interacting in other ways.
However, these sheets are still clear and thin enough for both sides to see and hear one another. So some may wonder about the effectiveness of sneezeguards given that the interactions seem so seamless. While the concept may seem simple, it can make a major impact on a facility’s overall safety and sanitation plan. Here’s what businesses and organizations should understand about the benefits and effectiveness of sneezeguards.
How Sneeze Guards Are Part of a Rising Trend in Businesses Everywhere
When the coronavirus pandemic first hit the U.S. earlier this year, essential businesses, organizations, and healthcare facilities scrambled to make their facilities as safe as possible for both employees and customers. Early on, scientists touted the importance of physical distancing, since the virus mainly spreads through direct contact from person to person. However, it’s tough to keep multiple feet of space in between individuals in some instances — like when someone is checking out at a grocery store or speaking with a customer service representative at a medical office. That’s where sneeze guards have really come in handy.
These thin plastic barriers can be installed over customer service counters, checkout areas, or any other area where people may need to stand or interact with one another from opposite sides. The thin plastic still allows customers and employees to clearly see and hear one another. So they can easily complete transactions or have conversations without having to come into direct physical contact with each other. But they prevent the need for people on each side to make direct, face-to-face contact with one another, which is often how germs are spread.
Additionally, sneeze guards are fairly easy to order and install. So they provided a quick solution for essential businesses that needed to make changes quickly. These products come in standard sizes, or can be ordered to fit custom specs if needed. And they can be hung from above, set on a countertop, or installed using just a few screws. For teams that needed to implement solutions to improve safety and sanitation quickly toward the onset of the pandemic, sneeze guards provided just that. Now, as more businesses and organizations are considering reopening in person, sneeze guards can provide that same level of protection moving forward. Companies and organizations that need to reopen quickly can purchase ready made sneeze guards and install them in minutes. Those that have a bit more time to plan can even customize them to specific size and style needs.
How Do Sneezeguards Prevent The Spread of Germs?
If you’ve ever wondered about the effectiveness of sneeze guards, the concept is pretty simple. Sneeze guards are made using thin sheets of durable, clear plastic. Then they are hung, placed, or installed over a counter or service area so people can interact from opposite sides of the barrier. If someone on one side coughs or sneezes, the particles that could carry the virus are likely to hit that barrier, rather than coming into direct contact with the person standing on the other side. This dramatically reduces the chance of the virus spreading directly from person to person. This same concept applies to other types of germs as well — it’s not specific to coronavirus.
No safety measure can eliminate the chance of germs spreading 100 percent. However, physical barriers like sneeze guards are designed to allow employees and visitors to still interact with one another without making direct, face to face contact, which is often how diseases spread. These measures allow those interactions at essential businesses to take place in the safest way possible. And now that even more businesses and organizations are working on their own reopening plans, sneeze guards can provide a safer environment to help them stay in operation without any major incidents for as long as possible.
Basically, sneeze guards help people create distance between one another when they can’t actually stand six feet or more apart. When used in conjunction with other recommendations from public health experts, like wearing face coverings, standing six feet apart when possible, and washing and sanitizing regularly, installing sneeze guards at a location can help to make that business and community just a bit safer.
If you’re looking to take advantage of the effectiveness of sneezeguards, Polymershapes can provide you with ready made or custom products to improve safety around your business or facility. In addition to sneeze guards, we also carry a huge selection of high performance plastics, from polycarbonate and acrylic to ABS and HDPE. Our local distribution centers are spread throughout the country to give clients convenient access to quality plastics, along with personalized service and fast quotes and shipments. Our facilities are also outfitted with industry leading equipment to provide exceptional material quality and customization options. Contact your local Polymershapes branch today to start reaping the powerful safety benefits of sneeze guards.