Preparing Your Business to Reopen Post COVID-19

Since cases of COVID-19 have continued to decrease across the United States, the federal government has released, Opening Up America Again. This article is a set of guidelines detailing a three-step approach to loosen the restrictions across the country and many industries. For the country’s economy and people who’ve spent the better part of 2020 tightening personal boundaries, that is a breath of fresh air. 

However, there is a good chance that opening up will cause a comeback of COVID-19 cases. So, businesses of all sizes and industries need to consider changing methods as more employees return to work. 

Especially, physical workplace employers need to consider the following methods to promote a safe work environment. 

Physical Employer Considerations for Return to Work

To begin, employers and safety managers should develop methods and policies for building maintenance, maintaining physical distance, and reducing risks for employees returning. Now, consider the following steps before re-opening.

Buildings, Facilities, and Operations

    • First, complete a full cleaning of facilities and equipment before return dates. Safety managers and building maintenance should organize efforts to ensure all cleanings meet any local authority requirements before they are allowed to re-open.
    • Develop and enforce site cleaning guides. These need to specifically address heavily trafficked areas and frequency of cleanings.
    • Check all spaces to determine maximum capacity. To keep social distancing, take the square footage divided by 36, and that will give you 6 feet of physical distance between people. 
    • Then, train and post signs for correct PPE usage.
    • Set rules for the right way to clean and disinfect PPE if they are going to use them again.

See more COVID-19 facility and operations safety suggestions.

Physical Distancing

    • Begin with finding different methods to clock in for work hours.
    • Stagger break times.
    • Use audio/visual tools for meetings and gatherings.
    • Then, create and communicate when to use face coverings or not.

  Public Workspace

    • Enact policies to limit the number of workers needed at one time to complete tasks outside of company property.
    • Next, set an extended boundary around the work area and physical distance with customers/clients.
    • Give training on how to operate safely in public spaces outside company control.
    • Finally, provide a way for employees to report unsafe behavior by fellow employees or exposure-related incidents.

Employee Pre-Screening 

Lastly, changing the workplace to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when re-opening goes a long way. However, employers need to consider the health of employees before they are allowed to return to the office or job site. A pre-screen assessment is a way for employers to check if workers show signs of the virus. This assessment is done by checking temperatures and keeping track of any changes in day-to-day symptoms like a cough or chest congestion. 

When logging this amount of information for each employee, it can become challenging. A pen and paper system is likely to confuse, be misplaced, and records may go un-filed. Ultimately, using a tool like the Safety Reports Scan App ensures that information received is accurate and available to all risk management parties. 

Demonstrating the Employee COVID-19 Pre-screening Assessment

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, as employers try to get back to normal and open their workplaces, they must come up with COVID-19 return to work policies that promote local and state conditions as per CDC and OHSA guidance. Most importantly, those plans must work towards reducing the spread of COVID-19 while keeping healthy work environments to protect employees and customers. 

Need COVID-19
resources for your workplace?

During this pandemic, Safety Reports has collected and created articles and resources to make safer workplaces across the country. Visit our COVID-19 resource page to help get your company through this time safely.

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