The Coronavirus situation is dynamic on local and national levels alike, and laws pertaining to the re-opening of workplaces post-COVID-19 are changing rapidly. Fortunately, the White House’s “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again” and the US Department of Labor and US Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19. Both edicts outline general principles related to phasing in business re-openings. For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to focus mainly on developing and implementing policies and procedures which address, prevent, monitor for, and respond to any emergence or resurgence of Coronavirus in the workplace. These plans include the following non-exhaustive list of controls which are deemed effective at controlling the spread of COVID-19.
The first step in developing a plan to protect and re-open your workplace is to determine the likely sources of potential exposure to the virus that your employees might encounter over the course of their workday.
Respiratory etiquette is the new hand hygiene. Develop practices for both. Additionally, post proper cleaning and disinfection methods for employees in plain sight.
Make telework available to your employees whenever possible and feasible. A new age is unfolding, and remote work is the future. Embrace it now, and your business will thrive.
ID-ing Sick Employees
Developing practices for workers self-monitoring is important, especially if daily screening of every employee isn’t possible. Make sure employees feel comfortable isolating and excluding themselves from the workplace if they have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, such as by offering additional paid sick leave.
Employee Re-Entry To The Workplace After Exposure
You will need to develop practices for employees who have been exposed to the Coronavirus, have completed the recommended self-quarantine period, and are then returning to work.
In the same vein as the above, you must develop practices to ensure that no adverse or retaliatory action will be taken against employees who adhere to national guidelines or raise workplace safety and health concerns.
Personal Protective Equipment
Social distancing protocols require that individuals maintain at least a 6-foot distance between themselves and another person. In general, OSHA recommends that employers encourage workers to wear face coverings at work. However, employers can choose not to require them if they feel that wearing a face covering would exacerbate a potential workplace hazard.
The development of the above practices is crucial to your business’ productive operation in a post-COVID-19 landscape. Plus, complying with local, state, and national guidelines mitigate potential liability risks when bringing employees back into the workforce amidst shifting regulations. Reach out to us at Noble-Davis for more resources to help your company thrive in a new age, including custom-tailored, simple, and worry-free retirement and welfare plans.