COVID-19 has impacted the world in numerous ways. Returning your workforce to on-site operations poses new challenges for your organization that you may not be prepared for. Knowing what is expected of you where OSHA is concerned can help you achieve greater peace of mind and guard the health and well-being of everyone at your company. The following COVID-19 reopening guidelines from OSHA can help you protect yourself and your workforce from a possible outbreak.
Isolate Symptomatic Workers
Before you even consider resuming regular operations, make sure you have policies in place for how to handle a situation where symptomatic workers are on-site. Designating an area with a door as your “isolation room” can help you keep sick workers separated from others until they can seek medical care or go home.
Encourage Social Distancing at Work
If you operate a customer-facing workplace, make sure to utilize drive-through windows, curbside pickups, and capacity limitations to the fullest extent possible. Use floor tape and signs to ensure that your customers know where to stand and are encouraged to take social distancing seriously.
Remind Workers to Stay Home When Sick
Remind your workers that it is incredibly important to stay home when they feel sick. You can take your safety plan one step further by conducting temperature checks on every employee who enters your building.
Consider Flexible Work Arrangements
Consider utilizing staggered shifts, telecommuting, and other flexible work arrangements when they are practical for your workforce. These steps are especially important if state and local health authorities recommend social distancing in your area and you are unable to comply within the confines of your worksite.
Utilize Prevention and Control Measures
Rearranging seating in common areas and staggering lunch breaks are both vital steps to take to maintain distance between your employees. Remember that current guidelines recommend six feet of space between individuals to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Also, provide your team on the front line with coronavirus PPE, such as face masks, face shields and disinfectant stations. If your workplace is disinfecting with hydrogen peroxide, protect your workers with a hydrogen peroxide gas monitor to detect unhealthy levels of H2O2. Some workplaces have also implemented an employee temperature screening before the start of each workday.
Help Employees Feel Safe About Whistleblowing
Let your employees know that they can come to you or their supervisor to privately express any concerns they have about health and safety violations that they’ve witnessed in the workplace. Transparency and teamwork are important elements of a well-developed workplace safety plan.
Rethink Your Shared Workspaces
Change the layout of workstations at your organization to help maintain acceptable distance between employees. If needed, install plexiglass partitions for mobile protection.
Prepare to Reopen With PK Safety
It’s never easy to make drastic changes at your workplace. However, the severity of the current COVID-19 outbreak makes it vital for you to do so to reopen successfully while protecting everyone on-site. PK Safety’s safety experts are navigating COVID-19 safety equipment and can help you find the right gear for your needs. Call us at 800.829.9580 or contact us online to learn more about our safety supply company and how we can help you and your team get back to work.
Making sure that PPE is properly cleaned and disinfected is crucial. While some protection is better than none, contaminated gear isn’t going to be as effective in protecting you from coronavirus.