One of the crucial responsibilities of an employer during this unprecedented world-wide COVID-19 pandemic is keeping its workforce safe. Minimizing the spread of the coronavirus is especially critical to the supply chain industry, which has an integral part in getting the world through this crisis.
As the largest installation resource company in North America, we have put together a list of recommendations on 5 major steps employers can take, to keep their employees safe.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the need for social distancing is mandatory to flatten the curve of the number of cases, worldwide. Here are some ways to promote social distancing:
- Physically distancing employees – a minimum of 3 ft – 6ft.
- Staggered work shifts.
- Alternating breaks.
- Downsizing operations/reduced workforce.
- Delivering services remotely.
- Cross-training workers across different duties to continue fulfillment.
- Encourage “respiratory etiquette“, including covering coughs and sneezes.
- Strongly discouraging workers from using each other’s phones, desks, offices, computers, work tools & equipment, whenever possible.
- Encourage workers to stay home if they are feeling unwell.
Creating a frequent disinfecting protocol of the job site is becoming increasingly important. Here are some other items to keep in mind:
- Promoting thorough and frequent hand washing, with a visual guideline for proper procedure, if possible.
- Staying on top of soap refills on-site; If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Providing tissues, paper towels, and garbage bins throughout the site.
- Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including frequent disinfecting of equipment and surfaces.
- When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against harder to kill viruses. Follow instructions for use of all disinfection products (ie. concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).
If and when possible, employers should consider practices, such as telecommuting and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance between employees. All non-essential travel should be eliminated for the time being.
Training and support
Not only is cross-training important in supporting a lighter workforce (if it comes to that), but also training personnel on how to handle other situations such as:
- worksite disinfection protocols
- mental health assistance
- procedure to address individuals who are unwell or have tested positive for Covid-19
During this pandemic, it’s important to stay vigilant and operate with caution like never before; Ensure employees feel supported through consistent and up to date communication throughout the course of this matter.
- Encourage employees that are unwell to take sick leave without fears of losing their job.
- Be diligent in the cleanliness of your space.
- If unsure about policy, keep in close contact with your HR team.
- Stay on top of guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.
For more guidance on preparing your workforce for COVID-19, please download this guide from OSHA. If you have contributions to this article, please comment below. For more, please follow us on social media for regular updates.