Seven Steps To Re-Opening Your Small Business
Lawrence M. Glasner, JD, MBA Attorney at Law, The Glasner Law Firm
Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Five years ago, would you ever have thought that simply standing near people was a hazardous activity?
The Coronavirus has changed the way we look at our place of work. And as the economy emerges from the lockdown, employers need to minimize the risk of employees contracting the virus at work.
Here are some steps you should take to comply with federal and state safety regulations and make your employees feel safe.
1. Understand Your Legal Responsibilities.
As an employer, you must take all reasonable steps to safeguard your workers’ health and safety. Study the federal and your state’s guidelines and regulations. In short, if you’re providing a safe place and system of work with safe equipment and workers, you are most of the way there.
OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 is a great starting point. (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf)
2. Assess the New Risks Facing Employees at Work from COVID-19.
First identity hazards at your company and assess the danger. Then establish controls to reduce and eliminate these risks. Ask yourself where employees congregate, for example, and how you can enforce social distancing in these spots. Where do employees interact with customers?
3. Update Your Health and Safety Policy Based on Your Risk Assessment.
Consider the following:
- Return workers in phases.
- Evaluate if some workers continue to work remotely.
- Safeguard employees who are vulnerable.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Increase the frequency of handwashing and surface disinfecting.
- Minimize exposure to other workers and the public as much as reasonably possible.
4. Keep Abreast of New Federal and State Health and Safety Guidelines and Regulations.
A good place to start is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site.
5. Train Managers and Supervisors.
Keep your leadership team up-to-speed on safety policies and procedures and follow-up with them frequently.
6. Consider Staggering Work Hours.
In the old days, work was 9-5. But does it really need to be anymore? The less people you have in one space at the same time, the better.
7. Make PPE Equipment Available Where Necessary.
It won’t ever hurt to provide employees with protective clothing, helmets, gloves, face shields, goggles, and face masks.
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