As vaccines roll out across the country and many states begin to ease or eliminate COVID-19 restrictions, businesses are struggling with how to reopen safely and reassure both employees and customers that they can return with confidence.
Businesses of all kinds must provide clean, safe, and healthy environments for their workers and guests. Even if they no longer are required to follow certain restrictions, workplaces must address the public’s heightened expectations for cleanliness and reducing the spread of illness.
Following are some steps that businesses should implement in their health and safety plan to ensure they are looking after their staff and patrons’ health and well-being.
Conduct a Risk Assessment
Go through your entire facility and document any hazards or risks, such as areas where people congregate, high traffic areas, high touch surfaces, common areas, workstations, etc. and prioritize each potential risk to determine what needs to be addressed first.
Create standard operating procedures
Determine which policies should be put in place to mitigate the identified risks. At a minimum, this should include regular and thorough cleaning, disinfection, and sanitization procedures, as well as handwashing protocols, social distancing measures, and automated temperature monitoring. Also, be sure to require workers to stay at home if they are ill and ensure they are not penalized for doing so. Create clear policies in the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19, is exposed, or displays symptoms.
Train and educate employees
Make sure your staff understands the importance of properly implementing workplace health and safety procedures, and train them regularly and repeatedly on how to reduce the spread of illness effectively. Demonstrate and teach best practices when it comes to thoroughly cleaning, sanitizing, handwashing, utilizing PPE, and more.
Utilize technology where possible
The pandemic has given rise to a host of new technologies that can reduce the risk of spreading illness. Touchless faucets, keyless entries, and elevators that automatically go to the appropriate floor are just a few examples of technologies that can be impactful. Additionally, an edge mitigation solution, like DeCurtis Shield™, can prevent people with fevers from entering a facility, as well as track and store that data. Additionally, location and proximity tools can help with contact tracing, which is vital in the event of an outbreak.
Communicate and instill confidence
Finally, be sure to clearly communicate all that your business is doing to protect staff and customers. Display unmistakably visible signage throughout your workplace as a reminder of best practices and policies. Floor markers can be used to promote keeping a safe six-foot distance away from others. Businesses may also wish to pursue formal health and safety accreditation through a reputable third party such as the WELL Building Standard.
These health and safety plan steps can help reassure workers and guests that your business is doing all it can to protect them as well as prevent the spread of illness. If you are interested in learning more ways to ensure a safe and healthy workplace, check out our Health & Safety Maturity Model™, find out more about DeCurtis Shield™, visit our website, or contact us.