As many states and counties enter Phases 2 and 3, businesses are starting to prepare their employees to return to their workplace. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had issued an updated guideline to help businesses decide whether or not they are ready to reopen and to keep their workplace safe and healthy. Businesses will be required to perform a detailed risk assessment and have a site-specific protection plan. To limit the risk of spreading COVID-19, employees should be to be trained to self-screen at home prior to going into the office. They should also be asked to stay at home if they are showing symptoms. Employers may also choose to do a temperature check prior to employees starting their shift.
To keep the workplace safe, businesses should implement disinfecting protocols and physical distancing guidelines. Employers are encouraged to use cleaning products for the COVID-19 approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Buildings need to ensure the ventilation system is working properly and increase outdoor circulation as much as possible. Add frequent disinfecting to areas of high traffic such as break rooms, conference rooms and bathrooms as well as try to avoid sharing equipment or phones whenever possible.
All businesses that reopen should implement physical distancing at least six feet. Physical partitions, floor marking or signs can be used to help maintain the distance. If physical distancing cannot be maintained, employees and customers should be required to wear face covering to minimize exposure. If feasible, limiting the number of workers in the workplace is encouraged and staggered or rotating shifts. Businesses will need to get creative on ways to maintain the social distance based on the business functionality.
As employer open their businesses and workplaces for employees to return to work, they must make sure their number one priority is keeping the business safe. Provide employees information in advance with implementation protocols on keeping them safe and be ready to listen of any concerns. Understand not everyone will be comfortable returning to work at this time, have options available if necessary and be flexible. This is a new norm, hopefully temporary but everyone needs to feel safe and comfortable in their work environment to work efficiently.
To get detailed guidance for reopening your business, visit the Employer Information for Office Buildings
on CDC website, and contact us if you need assistance in creating your plan to reopen your business!