Dos and Don’ts of Restarting Operations

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As more and more businesses are allowed to partially or fully resume operations, it’s critical that employers follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines on restarting businesses and controlling the spread of the virus in the workplace. The last thing businesses want is an outbreak of the virus in the workplace. To prevent this, employers must prepare in advance.

Below are common mistakes that employers could make when bringing employees back to work and best practices for how to prevent them.

 

Don’t: Assume Employees Already Know How to Wear PPE and Practice Social Distancing

Handing out gloves and face masks is not enough. Employers now have the responsibility to create and implement procedures for preventing the spread of the virus in the workplace and train employees.

Do: Provide In-Depth Training on How to Remain Safe in the Workplace

Training should include guidance on how to correctly wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and how to avoid contact with others. Employers should consider ways to create barriers in the workplace, prohibit the use of sharing tools, and close common areas to discourage gatherings.

 

Don’t: Require a Doctor’s Note

Should you require sick employees to provide a doctor’s note or positive COVID-19 test in order to remain home from work? The CDC says no for several reasons. Doctors may be overwhelmed in your area, it could be difficult for your employee to obtain a COVID-19 test, and test results could take time to come in.

Do: Screen Employees Before Work

All employees should undergrow symptoms screenings and temperature checks before coming into work. Employers should ask if they currently have any symptoms and if they have been exposed to anyone with symptoms. Any employee with symptoms should remain home.

 

Don’t: Bring All Employees Back to Work at Once

As different industries begin to reopen, businesses may want to bring all employees back when they are legally allowed to do so. However, employers should keep in mind that the threat of COVID-19 is still present and should still keep safety top of mind.

Do: Continue Remote Work When Possible

Employees able to perform their job functions at home should continue to do so for as long as the threat of the virus persists. Only those essential to on-site operations should go in regularly.

 

Don’t: Solve Problems as They Come Up

While your business may have been forced to close for several months, it is tempting to reopen immediately after getting the green light to do so. However, no business should reopen without thorough preparation and planning.

Do: Be Proactive in Your Restart Strategy

Anticipate possible roadblocks and health risks for customers and employees before reopening your doors. Explore the CDC’s “Workplace Decision Tool” to help decide if your business is ready to reopen.

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