Suggestions for Preparing Your Workplace to Reopen
- Create training to review new safe-at-work requirements and guidelines for all employees.
- If returning to work, training and orientations should be done on day one.
- Make information available to employees about Personal Protective Equipment, disinfection measures, social distancing protocol, on-site health screening, signs and symptoms of COVID-19, self-quarantining and return-to-work policies, visitors and contractors screening, signage, time-off options and all other COVID-19-related safe workplace changes.
- Train employees on frequent hand washing; properly covering coughs and sneezes; refraining from touching the face.
- Clean and sanitize surfaces frequently.
- Make wipes, sanitizer and cleaning products widely accessible throughout workplaces.
- Clean the break rooms and common touch areas (doorknobs, etc.) after each shift.
- Thorough cleaning of ALL shared surfaces throughout the facility at least once every 24 hours. This includes common spaces like bathrooms, conference rooms, lunchrooms, etc.
Shut down production in the area where a COVID-19 affected employee worked (i.e. department, line, station) to conduct cleaning, as well as shut down and clean common spaces like bathrooms, conference rooms and lunchrooms once notification of potential COVID-19 spread is suspected.
- Provide masks, shields, gloves, shoe coverings, coveralls, etc. if appropriate and available.
- Provide touch-free solutions:
- Touch-free time clocks.
- Individual water containers for workers instead of large water coolers.
Social Distancing Suggestions
Social distancing protocols should be maintained where possible at the workplace for the foreseeable future. Employers should follow CDC and OSHA guildines to ensure employee safety and to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
Some suggestions include:
- Offer work-from-home options for all employees who can perform duties remotely.
- Change shifts.
- Stagger shifts and start times to maximize distancing.
- Allow 30-minute buffers between shifts if possible so that employees don’t come into contact during transition.
- Cross-train teams, so that teams can better stagger shifts.
- Provide visual markers on floors for six-foot distancing, per CDC guidance.
- Stagger breaks and lunch schedules.
- Offer lunch breaks in vehicles instead of shared cafeterias or break rooms.
- Employees need to bring their own meals and be able to eat them without use of microwave.
- Restrict movement between departments and/or functions (e.g. don’t allow traffic between production and office workspaces).
Conduct phone/email/virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings, even when at office.
- Limit meetings to no more than 10 individuals, provided appropriate spacing is possible.
- Hold meetings in large spaces where people can spread out at six-foot intervals.
- Space out desks and work stations; construct temporary walls between workstations.
Best Practices for
- Offer curbside delivery instead of instore pick-up.
- Offer drive-through service only.
- Add plastic barriers/shields at registers.
- Offer call-ahead services lock doors to walk-in customers.
- Conduct virtual sales calls.
- Limit the number of customers in the facility to ensure appropriate distancing.
Best Practices for
- Request health and travel assessments for vendors/contractors coming on-site.
- Separate contractors and vendors from the workforce.
- Prohibit nonessential vendors and deliveries from entering your facility.
- Require deliveries to be dropped outside the facility door, eliminating vendors from entering your facility.
- Conduct temperature or employee wellness checks at the start of shifts to ensure the employee does not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms (fever >100.4 F, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing).
- Create a master schedule for all employees that shows when people may come in contact with others; use this for contact tracing in the event of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposure.
- Create a response plan for employees who report or demonstrate symptoms at work; have recently been at work and tested positive or have been in contact with confirmed COVID-19 case; or have not recently been at work but have tested positive or have been in contact with confirmed COVID-19 case.
- Ask employees about their health status before they return to work from sick leave (even if they were out with a headache), require certification by a health care professional of ability to safely return to work (particularly for those noted above).
Offer a variety of leave options for employees who may have to miss work because of a COVID-19-related reason.