Companies should take steps now to ensure the safety of workers and stop the spread of COVID-19. While some businesses are gradually returning to normal, the cases of illness have again begun to skyrocket. Here’s how organizations can take steps to keep their employees and customers safer as we enter the long hot summer of COVID-19.
State Rules and Recommendations for COVID-19 Business Safety
Organizations seeking to make changes to their workplace and workflows should first check with their state and local health departments for any rules, regulations, or guidelines concerning business operations. Start with these rules as a first step as you create a specific plan for your workplace. Your goal should be to create a plan for each office or retail location that identifies the areas of the business at risk for COVID contamination. Then create control measures to reduce and control the risk of exposure.
Two resources to consider include the CDC Guidelines and the OSHA suggestions for making your company safer.
Some of their suggestions for employees include:
- Encourage sick workers to stay home.
- Consider implementing in-person health checks for workers in a private, discreet place.
- Set up barriers or partitions to keep employees socially distanced.
- Provide protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
- Set rules for how these tools are used.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces employees come in contact with, including doorknobs and handrails.
- Do not share equipment such as phones, keyboards, and desks, if possible.
- Train employees in sanitation procedures, including 20-second hand washing before and after work shifts, again at breaks, after coughing or sneezing, and certainly after using the restroom.
- Set up hand sanitizer stations around the business and encourage their use.
- Practice social distancing and consider remote work when possible.
- Implement sick leave policies that are flexible and allow workers to self-quarantine when necessary.
- Provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, and disinfecting wipes for employees and customers, if possible.
- Have employees wear gloves when cleaning and when dealing with customers.
But what about customers and how can businesses enact healthier daily operations The CDC suggests:
- Appoint a COVID-19 workplace coordinator that will be responsible for maintaining these rules.
- Increase physical space between customers and employees by modifying cash register areas with partitions.
- Use signs and tape marks or other visual cues to let customers know where to stand safely while keeping social distancing.
- Place posters that share the rules of the business during COVID-19 and train your staff in how to handle non-compliant customers safely while keeping your company’s reputation intact.
- Postpone any non-essential meetings or make them virtual.
- Prohibit handshaking or touching of any kind.
- Set up delivery services, videoconferencing, or other ways to provide products and services without face-to-face contact.
- Shift shelf-stocking to after hours or at off-peak times to reduce customer contact with your workers.
Staying prepared is the new normal for businesses today. Assessing the job hazards and preparing employees for dealing with the virus will protect them, your customers, and the business itself. Do a walkthrough of your business with these guidelines as you prepare to reopen this summer and stay as safe as you can in these troubling times.
PrideStaff supports your efforts to maintain a healthy work environment. When you’re searching for a workforce to help your business, we can help find you the resources you need. Contact us to find out more.