Like we mentioned in a previous blog, coronavirus has forever changed the way we work and how we regard safety in the workplace.
If you’re considering bringing your employees back to the office, you need to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to keep them healthy and safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released some guidelines for returning to work. Below are some of our key takeaways.
Perform a Hazard Assessment
Prior to employees returning to the office, perform a hazard assessment. Depending on the size of your company, this may take one person or a whole team of people. According to OSHA, one way to implement this is to “assess all job tasks performed by or job categories held by employees to determine which job tasks or job categories involve occupational exposure.” You will also want to consider outbreak conditions and the status of your local community.
Provide Adequate Sick Time or Paid Time Off
Time off is something else that looks drastically different post-COVID. If an employee contracts COVID, they will need at least 10-14 days of self isolation. They need to have enough sick and paid time off to cover their quarantine period. Also, it’s recommended that you allow them paid time off to receive and recover from their vaccination.
Social distancing is something that the CDC and medical professionals all over the world recommend that people practice in order to limit their chance of getting sick. If you own a brick and mortar store, you might want to consider limiting your business occupancy to allow for adequate distancing between employees and customers. For traditional office spaces, make sure your employees have safe space between one another. This will not only help keep your employees from falling ill with coronavirus, but it will also make them feel more protected and sure about being in the office.
Provide Masks, Hand Sanitizer, Gloves Etc.
Especially if you run a consumer-facing business, it’s important to have proper protection for your employees. Keep hand sanitizer at designated spaces around your office or business. Provide plastic gloves and masks. For common lunch areas, provide paper towels, plates, plastic cups, forks and knives so to prevent cross contamination with dishes. You may be calculating the cost of these items in your head right now, but we promise you that the benefits of keeping your employees safe will heavily outweigh the costs.
These are just four of several guidelines you should consider before bringing your employees back to work. Visit OSHA’s website for more information.