How to Enforce COVID Compliance in the Workplace
The coronavirus has taken the world by storm. It has affected our health care systems, our concerns about our own personal health and it has caused many businesses to close on a temporary or permanent basis.
In order to restore the economy, many businesses have been given the okay to reopen. However, it is every business owner’s responsibility to keep their customers and employees safe. Therefore, business owners are doing what they can to provide safe and sanitary conditions.
While talking to your employees about proper COVID protocol in the workplace is somewhat effective, words can only go so far. Therefore, employers must take extra measures to ensure their workers and customers stay safe. Here are a few methods that are recommended.
Make Sure Everyone is Aware of COVID Compliant Protocols in Your Office
As with every new procedure that is implemented in the workplace, it is important to make sure all workers are on the same page and understand what is expected of them. Paperwork, digital documents and verbal communication can be used to let employees know about new workplace procedures and to make sure they fully understand what is involved. This way, there will be no confusion regarding how things in the office will be handled moving forward.
As the business world reopens and the need to stay COVID compliant becomes more necessary, many tech companies have created mobile applications that can make it easier for business owners to keep the workplace safe. These apps can be used to make employees aware of the regulations employers have in place and it can automatically update to include new guidelines and policies that have been implemented.
Some of these apps can also detect employee proximity and notify employees when social distancing breaches occur. Event reporting features allow users to report possible COVID hazards when they occur.
Many of the apps offer self-assessment that allows employers to screen their workers before they arrive at work by capturing daily temperature readings and determining risk. The centralized dashboard helps leaders monitor important metrics to make critical decisions regarding employee safety. The mobile format provides a seamless, easy to use experience for all users.
Signs serve as a constant reminder that workers should be doing what they can to stay safe. They also remind everyone who comes into your building to adhere to the appropriate protocols.
Signs for proper handwashing procedures should be hung in the bathrooms. Reminders to wear masks should be hung all over the office. Reminders to social distance should be posted and markings can be made on the floor so workers know what space they should be staying in to remain safe.
Provide Workers with the Tools They Need
It is easy for workers to forget (or say they forgot) their mask or hand sanitizer at home and are unable to be compliant. However, if you provide masks and hand sanitizers in the office for workers to use, they will have no excuses.
The CDC recommends that you provide disposable disinfecting wipes so that employees can wipe down commonly used surfaces before each use. Masks and hand sanitizer may also be made available to slow the spread of germs.
Discourage the Sharing of Equipment
To minimize the spread of the virus, it’s important to discourage workers from using shared surfaces. Therefore, if there is equipment in the office that is commonly used by several workers, try to put one worker in charge of using that equipment to decrease the dispersal of germs. If that is not possible, disinfect shared surfaces often to keep workers healthy.
Workers should also be discouraged from using each other’s cell phones, desks and work tools.
Keep Workers at Home Whenever Possible
When the COVID outbreak first occurred, many businesses were ordered to close. In order to continue bringing in revenue and keep employees working, many companies operated on a virtual level.
Now that businesses are reopening, they are advised to continue keeping workers at home whenever possible. The fewer people in the office, the less chance there is of spreading the virus.
Provide Generous Sick Leave
When workers become sick, many of them are tempted to continue working, especially when they are not getting sick leave.
The coronavirus is very unpredictable so that some people may have slight symptoms while others experience severe symptoms and may even die when they become sick.
Those with minimal symptoms may be tempted to continue coming into work and they may not even realize they are sick. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t spread the virus to other workers who can become very ill. According to the Cleveland Clinic “We now know individuals with COVID-19 could have mild or no symptoms while still spreading the virus to others.”
Encourage workers to stay home even if they are experiencing very light symptoms by providing them with a generous amount of sick days and alternative work schedules that may allow them to work from home while they are ill.
Dealing with Workers That are Being Defiant
In today’s political climate, everyone has different opinions about staying COVID compliant, especially when it comes to mask wearing.
If you see employees not wearing a mask, verbally remind them that it is necessary for them to do so to keep themselves and their colleagues safe. Hopefully, this will do the trick, but if it comes to it, remind them that not wearing a mask could be grounds for termination.
According to Bloomberg Law, “Workers who refuse to wear face coverings during the pandemic can face discipline or termination, with scant legal options available for them to challenge that coronavirus prevention policy.”
Now that businesses are reopening, employers should be doing all they can to make sure employees are staying compliant. Providing the right tools, making sure everyone is on the same page with the current protocol and implementing physical barriers to stop the spread can all be helpful in keeping the workplace safe.
What do you recommend for getting employees onboard in controlling the spread?
People1 Care is a digital solution that helps organizations manage their return-to-work processes seamlessly while ensuring employee safety and compliance to the federal guidelines.