Covid Ready Workplace Mini-Series (Part One of Three)

Safe Workplace Strategies

That night everyone went to bed and when they woke the world had changed. In the blink of an eye, we find ourselves in a precarious situation. Everyone was affected by the sudden onslaught of a virus so deadly that it successfully beat the world into submission, and everything became quiet. Non-essential businesses and schools closed one by one, some never returning. People were forced to live their lives trapped in their homes. That was almost a year ago.

A year later we have learned a lot about our enemy and have even begun to implement preventative measures. As more and more people receive the Covid vaccine in the coming months, the world as we know it will soon return to its glory days with some modifications. The question is when that day comes, and it will, is your workplace ready?

Throughout this journey, many companies that were declared essential had to remain open. And in doing so, they became the pioneers for safe workplace practices. If your company is planning to return its employees to the office, you should consider implementing safe workplace measures. Here are some best practices to consider for your company.

Things you already know
1. Post signage to remind people to stay 6 feet apart and walk in a one-way direction (entry and exit doors should be separate if possible)
2. Employees and visitors must all wear approved facemasks, or entry into the building will be denied
3. Have hand sanitiser stations throughout the building

Things to consider for your visitors and employees
4. Temperature checks for employees and visitors upon entering the building
5. Employees and visitors to complete self-assessment health form upon entering the building
6. Employees and visitors must check-in/register upon entering the building
7. Have a designated room/area for visitors (do not allow them to wander around the building)

For your employees only
8. Implement proper procedures for the handling of mail and packages e.g., wear disposable gloves
9. Have disinfectant wipes throughout the company available for employees to wipe down surface areas throughout the day e.g., personal workspaces

For management
10. Reconfigure workspace layouts to allow for proper social distancing. If offices are too small to do so, install physical barriers e.g., plexiglass shields
11. Hire cleaning staff to clean the offices at night – wipe down all surface areas including light switches, doorknobs, desks, etc. Some cleaning companies have Covid cleaning equipment such as fog machines and blue lights, etc.

By implementing these measures, companies are doing their due diligence to ensure the health and safety of their employees as it relates to Covid. Your employees will thank you for this and hopefully, you’ll be able to fall peacefully to sleep and perhaps when we all wake the next day, our world will be victorious in defeating its enemy.

This is part one in our three-part mini-series. In part two of this series, we will review “Contact Tracing in the Workplace”.

Lisa Trinh is a Partner of HR4U and is a certified human resources professional. If you have any questions or if you would like to get in touch with her, she can be reached at lisa@hr4u.work.