Workplace health and safety are at the top of every business owner’s mind this year. If your business does not have an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, now is the time to develop one. A thorough and clear-cut plan will help employees stay safe against COVID-19 and other potentially infectious diseases in the future. Below are a few recommendations from OSHA and the CDC to help you get started.
Identify the Risk
Consider your businesses and where, how, and to what sources of COVID-19 workers may be exposed. Develop a plan based on CDC and government guidelines to address sick employees, those who may be high-risk, and any instance of potential unprotected exposures. Expect to see higher rates of employees working from home or taking time off and how this will impact your upcoming workload.
Promote Basic Hygiene
Most workplaces already have required hygiene protocols in place. However, it’s always a good idea to remind employees of basic practices and if possible, implement flexible schedules or work from home options. Encourage workers to disinfect workspaces each day, use hand sanitizer, and maintain an appropriate social distance from each other. If someone does show signs for COVID-19, develop policies and procedures for immediate isolation away from co-workers and customers.
Communicate Temporary Flexibilities
This is unchartered ground for most businesses. The best way to care for your employees is through open and honest communication. It may not be normal to have employees working from home, taking extended periods of time off, or adjusting hours to accommodate disrupted family schedules. These are not normal times. Being open to customized, circumstantial solutions will help your employees feel safe and appreciated.
There are no guarantees of controlling workplace hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is up to all businesses to take the necessary steps to keep their employees safe and protected. Staying informed about the latest developments and recommendations is critical. Contact EHS Management for help with your infectious disease preparedness and response plan.