Workplace Preparation for “Smart, Safe and Step by Step” Return to Work

On April 29, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-112 called Safe, Smart, Step by Step Plan for Florida’s recovery.  The plan involves individual responsibility (limiting personal interactions and avoiding large groups), senior citizens and individuals with significant underlying medical conditions are still encouraged to stay home, and many businesses have been given the green light to start opening.  The Executive Order provides limited guidance to affected businesses, mainly on store capacity and the number of guests, and reinforces the expectation that all businesses will continue abiding by the safety guidelines issued by the CDC and OSHA.    

If your business is getting ready to reopen, here are some guidelines to consider.  It is important to develop a plan for your employees (and customersthat provides appropriate protection and follows the recommendations of the CDC and OSHA.  Regardless of your business type, a well designed re-opening plan will help restore employee and customer confidence.  

The following COVID-19 Workplace Reopening Checklist (download a copy here) is provided to assist our clients in getting back to business safely:

SOCIAL DISTANCING:

  • Work Schedules:  Stagger work times and maximize work-from-home capability
  • Leave:  Flexible leave policy if possible
  • Meetings:  Utilize virtual meeting technology or cancel non-essential meetings
  • Workstations:  Increase distance and/or consider installing dividers/shields
  • Vendors & Visitors: Reduce access or reschedule access times
  • Breaks:  Stagger employee breaks

SANITATION:

  • Sanitize:  Ensure the workplace is cleaned to CDC recommendations
  • Maintenance:  Upgrade or augment cleaning service agreement as needed
  • Hand Sanitizer:  Distribute sanitizer around the office
  • Wipes:  Maintain sufficient quantities, use on common surfaces and office equipment daily
  • Tissues:  Maintain around the office with sufficient trash cans
  • PPE:  Employees may elect to wear their own face-covering (per CDC recommendation)

WORKPLACE BEHAVIOR:

  • Etiquette:  Avoid use or touching of workspace and equipment of others
  • Hands:  Avoidance of face-touching and extra attention to hand-washing
  • Surfaces:  Shared responsibility for wiping down any common surfaces and objects

COMMUNICATIONS:

  • Designated a POC:  Assign role of COVID-19 coordinator and point of contact
  • General Signage:  Post signs throughout workplace about distancing, behavior guidelines, personal hygiene
  • Restroom Sign:  Install signs in restrooms to encourage handwashing
  • Education:  Distribute info about COVID-19 symptoms and safety
  • Information: Establish a forum for discussion, concerns, questions, and updates

MONITORING / SCREENING:

  • Screen Workers: Screen for symptoms via Questionnaire and temperature taking; develop procedures and protocols as needed.
  • COVID-19 Positive Workers: Asymptomatic employees may return per CDC – 8th day after positive test if not ill, have been out for an additional 3 days post-isolation and will wear a mask.
  • If Worker has Symptoms:  Any employee with symptoms should stay home or go home, call doctor, health department, or FL COVID-19 hotline.
  • If Worker is Sent Home:  Per CDC, return after 3 days of no fever (without medication) and respiratory symptoms have improved for 3 days, and at least 7 days have passed since initial symptoms; or, doctor’s note that no COVID-19.

Check back with the COVID-19 areas of the CDC and OSHA websites for future updates.

 

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