Back to Work Safety Plans
By Samantha Lowe, firstname.lastname@example.org
As economies are starting to open back up, allowing businesses to re-open and employees to come back to the workplace, it is important for employers to have a Back to Work Safety Plan in place to navigate the delicate balance of maintaining business operations while also preserving the health and safety of employees and clients.
Some key questions to consider when formulating your plan are:
- Which individuals or areas of expertise do I need input from when formulating my Back to Work Safety Plan?
- How will I communicate my Back to Work Safety Plan and future updates to my employees and clientele?
- Does my Back to Work Safety Plan include protocols and procedures in the case of a possible COVID-19 exposure or positive test of an individual in the workplace?
- Does my Back to Work Safety Plan allow for flexibility and adaptability?
Which individuals or areas of expertise do I need input from when formulating my Back to Work Safety Plan?
Remember that depending on the nature of your business, you may need to seek additional guidance outside of the internal management team. Lawyers and risk insurance companies that are specializing in COVID-19 guidance may provide valuable insight into areas where guidance is rapidly changing, such as worksite safety and employee sick leave laws. Federal, state, and local government authorities are also providing reliable resources for businesses as they begin to navigate the return to the workplace.
Your current employee base may also provide a unique point of view on the state of current remote working conditions, which may be used to determine the timing and overall approach of bringing employees back to the workplace. Polling your employees about their current feelings and ideas about returning to the worksite will provide you with valuable information and feedback about the desires of your workforce, but they will also likely provide additional innovative ideas to incorporate into your plan.
How will I communicate my Back to Work Safety Plan and future updates to my employees and clientele?
It is important that once your Back to Work Safety Plan has been formulated, that you also have a strategy to communicate this plan clearly to employees and clientele. Standards and expectations should be clearly set to avoid confusion. It is also important to remember that it is likely the business will need to make future changes or amendments to this Back to Work Safety Plan to accommodate changing recommendations from local authorities before it has been completely implemented. Employees and clientele should be made aware that this plan is subject to change, and how to expect communication of those future changes. Since your workforce is currently working under different circumstances than they are used to it is important to consider that you may need to communicate differently than you do in normal circumstances. You may want to consider using several methods of communication to make sure your messaging reaches your entire audience. In a world where our inboxes are full of COVID communications you may want to also consider other sources of communication such as internal messaging boards, intranet announcement, website announcements, social media and physical signage.
Does my Back to Work Safety Plan include protocols and procedures in the case of a possible COVID-19 exposure or positive test of an individual on-site in the workplace?
The business should be prepared for multiple scenarios in which there is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 exposure or positive test. The CDC as well as state and local health departments have provided recommendations on action businesses should take in these scenarios. Documentation on who and how appropriate individuals should be alerted of suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as well as necessary sanitization of the workplace and quarantine of the possible infected individual(s) should be made clear in the plan.
Does my Back to Work Safety Plan allow for flexibility and adaptability?
The most critical thing to remember when formulating your Back to Work Safety Plan is that the current environment is rapidly changing as health and government authorities are learning more information. As such, your business must be prepared to make rapid – and possibly drastic – changes as new information is released. The guidelines released by federal, state, and local authorities should be consistently monitored for any changes, so that those changes may be implemented into the plan. Adaptability will be the key to navigate through these unusual times as effectively as possible.
For a comprehensive list of business resources, guidelines and FAQs visit the Utah Coronavirus Business Resource page: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/business/workplace-resources/
In addition to planning for your physical return to your offices, you will also want to plan for your financial return to the office as well. With the rise in uncertainty comes the necessity to plan for multiple future scenarios. Now is an especially critical time for businesses to have a financial business plan for various economic circumstances that may arise in the future. Contact Squire today to meet with a financial advisor who can model different options and scenarios available to your business.