We know that healthy employees are crucial to your business. As we move from the shelter-in-place order to the safer-at-home order, here are 10 ways to help them stay healthy:
1. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home. Sick employees should follow the CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments. Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions.
2. Develop flexible policies for scheduling and telework (if feasible).
Consider minimizing face-to-face contact between these employees or assign work tasks that allow them to maintain a distance of six feet from other workers, customers, and visitors, or to telework if possible.
3. Promote etiquette for coughing, sneezing, and handwashing.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
4. Perform routine environmental cleaning and disinfection.
Routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
5. Provide education and training materials.
Employees can take steps to protect themselves at work and at home. Provide materials in an easy to understand formats, like fact sheets and posters.
6. Have conversations with employees about their concerns.
7. Implement practices to minimize face-to-face contact.
Consider minimizing face-to-face contact between these employees or assign work tasks that allow them to maintain a distance of six feet from other workers, customers, and visitors, or to telework if possible. When possible, use videoconferencing or teleconferencing when possible for work-related meetings and gatherings.
8. Implement flexible sick leave.
Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of and understand these policies.
9. Assess your essential functions.
Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative vendors, prioritize existing customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed). Consider e-recording and remote notarizations.
10. Have a plan in case an employee becomes sick at work.
Employees who appear to have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home.
To learn more, check out the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019.