As state, local, and municipal governments take steps to re-open businesses across the country, employers must take a fresh look at their physical workspace, their workplace practices, and their communication and training of employees in order to prohibit the spread of the coronavirus and to protect their employees and clients to keep them safe.
Below is a checklist for employers to consider when planning to reopen, or for those businesses who have remained open under an “essential business” classification. This checklist serves to provide some ideas, resources, and reminders on how to improve the level of safety and protection in your workplace.
A few things to highlight:
- If employees can work from home, allow them to continue to telecommute as social distancing and safe hygiene are still the only way to prohibit the spread of the disease.
- Social distancing, use of PPE, proper disinfecting, and proper training are the keys to maintaining a safe workplace.
- Experts’ understanding of COVID-19 is quickly evolving. From the symptoms of COVID-19 and the CDC’s recommendations to government orders on social distancing, PPE use, and workplace closures – information is constantly being updated. Employers should identify all of the resources necessary on the federal (DOL, CDC, EPA, OSHA, EEOC), state, municipal, and local levels (health departments, law enforcement, executive offices) in order to keep track of the virus’ impact and their obligations as employers maintaining safe workplaces within their communities.
As you can see, some of these tasks are regulatory and technical and some are inspirational, including leading by example while in your workplace. While returning to work during a global health pandemic is frightening and uncertain, your commitment to safety, communication, and compassion will ensure your workplace and your workers remain productive, healthy, and well.
Should you need any assistance or advice as you manage your workplace in the midst of the coronavirus, don’t hesitate to contact us at Affinity HR Group. It is our purpose to help you.
By Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President – Affinity HR Group, Inc.
Claudia St. John is president of Affinity HR Group, Inc., NAWLA’s affiliated human resources partner. Affinity HR Group specializes in providing human resources assistance to associations such as NAWLA and their member companies. To learn more, visit www.affinityhrgroup.com.