Covid-19 has deeply affected businesses of all sizes. In these uncertain times, “business as usual” just doesn’t exist. Employers are trying their best to keep their businesses open while also focusing on employee safety during a pandemic.
Develop Procedures to Prevent Infection
Having procedures in place that help reduce the chance of infection can go a long way in the fight for employee safety, and to promote a healthier and safer workplace. Some examples could be:
- Encourage frequent hand-washing
- Provide hand sanitizer throughout the workplace that is at least 60% alcohol
- Keep individual work spaces and office equipment (such as phones or desks) isolated by installing additional barriers and/or discouraging use by more than one employee
- Maintain regular or enhanced cleaning procedures throughout the workplace. This could include more frequent cleanings, electrostatic spraying, etc. to disinfect high-touch areas and equipment
- Encourage mask or other PPE use by employees when appropriate, and ask customers or visitors to wear face coverings
- Increase ventilation rates to improve indoor air quality
Identify and Isolate Sick Employees
If an employee becomes infected, it is important to take steps to prevent them from transmitting the virus to other employees. One way to do this is to ask employees to check their own temperatures before leaving for work. Anyone that registers a fever should be instructed to stay home and follow CDC-recommended procedures. Additionally, employers can safely and respectfully perform wellness checks for all employees and visitors upon arrival, through screening questions and temperature checks. Those who show symptoms should be asked to refrain from entering the workplace. Likewise, employees who become sick during the day should be sent home or to a medical facility immediately and their workspace should be closed off and thoroughly disinfected.
Allow Flexibility in the Workplace
One of the best ways to accommodate and protect employees is to make their workplace and schedules more flexible. If it is not absolutely necessary for an employee to physically be present in the office, allowing them to work from home can go a long way in keeping them safe. In addition to work-from-home options, policies should be in place for flexible sick leave for employees to care for themselves or family members if necessary. These days, people need flexibility without a fear of losing their job. These flexible options will show that as an employer, you are keeping employee safety at the top of your priority list.
It may seem overwhelming right now to keep track of constantly evolving guidelines for employee safety at your place of business. The above tips are just a small sample of the protective measures you can put in place to enhance the safety and security of your workplace and your employees. At Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd, we understand your challenges and know that legal issues may arise due to current circumstances. We are here to help guide you through these difficult times. Contact us at 847-223-1500 or visit us online for more information.