To help limit the spread of COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic, many businesses worldwide temporarily closed or curtailed operations. When the worst of the outbreak ends and governments allow businesses to reopen, there are steps organizations need to take to protect their employees, customers and contractors. It’s important to keep in mind that guidance in this area is constantly evolving—if you’re considering policies surrounding worker safety, make sure to consult official government and public health protection sources for the latest information. Here is the general guidance to get you started.
Empower your employees to protect their own health and the health of their co-workers by providing what they need to stay safe, including:
In addition to empowering your employees to protect and care for themselves, consider making operational changes that will support employee health.
Before reopening, clean and disinfect all work and rest areas, including the pantries—and determine whether you are required to comply with industry-specific disinfection and sterilization requirements. Ventilate work areas as well. Routine cleaning and disinfection should continue once you reopen.
Where permitted by applicable laws and regulations, when employees arrive for their shift, screen them for fever before they enter the workplace. Employees with elevated temperatures should be sent home and encouraged to seek medical care if needed. Screen customers, contractors, suppliers, and other site visitors as well.
Take steps to ensure that employees keep 6 feet (2 meters) away from other people, including co-workers and customers. To maintain social distancing, consider taking the following actions:
The transition back to work may be challenging for some employees. You can help address fear and morale—and promote safe operations—by communicating openly and frequently with employees. Educate employees about practices that will help maintain a safe and healthy workplace and let them know about available resources.
While general precautions and safety steps will help all employees, you may want to take additional steps to meet the needs of certain members of your workforce.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health COVID-19 Portal
National Safety Council: COVID-19 Guidance for Employers
Occupational Safety and Health Association COVID-19 Information
World Health Organization
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