As businesses slowly reopen, preparing the workplace for re-entry using a calculated and deliberate process is critical for the safety of all employees. Prescient National has curated the below list of best practices to foster a safe re-opening. Temporary Staffing Agencies should also screen their client employers' health and safety protocols.
It is imperative that employers consult with their attorneys and abide by EEOC guidelines as it pertains to procedures that may be implemented for reopening. This will help to avoid the inevitable avalanche of legal proceedings that we anticipate based on the current environment.
- Prior to opening the workplace, distribute a COVID-19 questionnaire to assess illness risk and interaction with individuals that have symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Host a webinar to address updates and set expectations.
- Develop a return to work manual that outlines requirements and processes related to COVID-19. Over-communicate your company's plan and be transparent.
- Consider staggering shifts and/or bringing employees back gradually in waves.
- Limit worksite access to only essential workers, if possible.
- Maintain at least 6 feet of physical separation to the greatest extent feasible.
- Mark floors with 6-foot spacing and post social distancing flyers throughout the building(s).
- If incorporating temperature checks, develop a written policy and have employees and visitors sign a consent form or provide a general notice visible at the site where temperatures are taken. Results must be stored confidentially.
- Provide face masks for employees, especially if maintaining 6 feet of separation is not possible.
- Provide handwashing stations and encourage frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds; post personal hygiene flyers in restrooms and near handwashing stations.
- Provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing products for employees and visitors.
- Encourage respiratory etiquette, such as covering the nose and mouth with a tissue for coughs and sneezes and performing hand hygiene after having contact with respiratory secretions.
- Regularly clean high-touch surfaces/shared equipment with EPA-approved cleaning chemicals and discourage employees from using other employees' phones, desks, or work equipment.
- Encourage employees to stay home if they are sick and require those who experience COVID-19 symptoms to stay home and contact their doctor. Create a timeline that memorializes any infections that occur and contact Prescient National to discuss claim submission.
- Employees may be experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles due to the pandemic. Therefore, remind all employees of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by your company (if available).
It is mandatory for Illinois employers to place this posting in a prominent location. Prescient National suggests all employers follow suit with a similar posting.
The above guidelines are a culmination of information Prescient National Insurance Services has access to and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any questions or would like additional guidance, please contact us at email@example.com or (704) 927-2860.