• Koren Norton

Revisiting Workplace Policies During Covid 19

With the arrival of COVID19 and all the adjustments we have to make, the workplace has not been spared. It has become clear that significant changes will have to be made; this is to ensure that there is safety for all and smooth flow of operations with as little disruption as possible. Here are some tips to consider.



Occupational Safety & Health Issues in the Workplace


Put notices on display in the office and send electronic communication. Ensure that everyone has the relevant information on government and health policies.

Promote hand-washing and have soap available in the bathroom Provide Sanitizers and make sure that they are serviced and functional Provide masks where necessary Have the place regularly cleaned using the appropriate disinfectants (surfaces cleaned daily phones, keyboards, mouse, desks, chairs, handrails, door handles,) For those who are at work, keep them 6 feet apart as stipulated

Floor can be marked with tape for customers who are queuing Consider ventilation issues



Work Scheduling


Stagger schedules so that there are not too many persons at the organization 

at the same time

Promote virtual meetings as much as possible

Consider providing transport. Someone using public transport can bring contamination into the office Have someone assigned to ensure social distancing for customers who might be queued or to ensure they are wearing masks before being allowed into the establishment In the event of layoffs, follow union stipulations and provide transition services (counseling)



General


Have a plan and policy for the new guidelines; dealing with customers, coworkers, other visitors to the business, cleaning policies, important numbers, etc and circulate to all administrative persons Keep line staff notified of what the company is doing. Weekly notices are appropriate.

Include hotline information in all communication. Consider everyone’s safety. Limit certain customer contact to protect staff Know when to have employees stay home – fever, cough, etc Keep abreast with Ministry of Health information Notify employees that if someone becomes covid19 positive, that person must immediately provide a list of persons he or she had contact with for the authorities Have an emergency plan for if someone becomes ill at work. Contact family or EMS. Know where to keep the person until transport arrives. Ask persons to report to HR if they recently travelled or had contact with someone positive. Do it in a way that does not stigmatize the person


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