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Educate Employees on How to Safely Return to Work

While it is a relief to be at a stage where much of the country is considering reopening, it’s important for businesses to remain vigilant in order to mitigate the further spread of infection.  A key step in doing that is educating your employees on how they can remain safe, as well as keep each other and your customers safe.

Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

  • Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor prior to returning to work and stay home.
  • Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.
  • If you become aware of any employee or person visiting your facility who has tested positive for COVID-19 virus, the facility should be disinfected immediately before operations can continue.

Continue to encourage proper hand hygiene:

Proper hand hygiene continues to be one of the best ways to reduce the spread of infection.  As we reopen workplaces and common spaces, these are critical to continue to encourage.  You should plan to regularly reiterate to your employees the importance of handwashing and provide instructional materials on how to properly wash hands throughout your facility.  You may also consider installing extra handwashing stations, refilling soap dispensers more often, and providing hand sanitizer near high touch areas. 

Regularly communicate with employees on any new procedures:

Build in regular updates with your employees and plan out a cadence of communication for reviewing critical information.  It’s crucial to communicate regularly so that any updates to your policies and procedures can be rolled out quickly.  This can help ensure that employees have in hand all the resources and tools they may need, as well as provide reassurance that you are proactively keeping them updated.

Some policies and procedures to consider include:

  • Limiting meetings to no more than 10 people.
  • Ensuring social distancing rules can be followed in all meetings and gatherings allowing a minimum of 6’ between employees.
  • Staggering break times to limit the number of employees using common areas at the same time.
  • Limiting the use of common equipment or devices such as printers and copiers.
  • Setting up temporary workstations to allow a minimum of 6’ between employees.
  • Opening additional access points to the building to limit traffic congestion.
  • Staggering work hours to reduce employee density.

Check out our Facility Re-Opening Guide, to read more on re-opening a safe and healthy workspace.