Depending on your location, shelter-in-place restrictions are being lifted and non-essential businesses are experiencing varying degrees of reopening across the United States. During this time, there are three important procedures that employers can implement to provide a safe workplace for their employees.
1. Regularly and thoroughly disinfect and sanitize all workstations
First, employers should thoroughly disinfect and sanitize all offices and workstations. CDC guidelines outline the most important steps in cleaning your facilities to keep employees safe when reentering offices in the private sector. If you work in a public space, you can reach out to the EPA to confirm any work expectations.
2. Establish physical distancing procedures
Employers should establish procedures for maintaining at least six feet of physical distance between employees in the workplace. Depending on the business and industry, this should also apply to any other visitors to your office or job site.
Employers may also consider installing partitions such as plastic shields around work counters as well as conducting internal meetings virtually and eliminating common areas where employees previously gathered (i.e. break rooms, conference rooms, etc). To ensure the safety of your team members, employers should seek direction regarding all requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA).
3. Have a plan to screen employees, customers and visitors
Finally, have a plan to screen employees as well as any clients, customers, visitors and vendors before they enter your workplace. Implement temperature checks and require the completion of screening questions. Employers should follow what is allowed under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and, depending on your business, the US Food and Drug Administration.
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