clearly defining your health and safety protocols
Reopening workplaces will require new health and safety protocols that take COVID-19 into consideration. Below, we outline some key health and safety measures you may consider implementing to protect your employees when they transition back to work.
access control and quarantine
- Set entry protocols. Determine the protocol for entering your workplace. Will you conduct thermal temperature checks at the door? Should employees wash their hands upon arrival? How many people are allowed in the elevator at once?
- Limit on-site personnel. Employees whose physical presence is not required should continue to work from home if they have the ability to do so. Provide employees with all the tools and equipment they need to work from home effectively.
- Consider building entry points. Can you close alternate access points and have all employees and visitors enter at one point? Or are you able to enforce health and safety measures at multiple points of entry?
- Reduce congestion at entry points. Wherever possible, limit the number of people in elevators and at entry points to ensure physical distancing. If you have queues of people waiting to enter your building, ensure they are spaced 2m apart.
- Determine your visitor policy. Switch to virtual meetings wherever possible. Set a limit for the number of visitors permitted in your workplace at once and clearly communicate your physical distancing measures with them, prior to entry. If you have a reception area or waiting room, enforce physical distancing and install floor markers so visitors know how far to stand apart. You may also consider asking visitors to wear face masks.
- Verify health prior to entry. Ask employees and visitors to verify that they have been self-isolating and have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 before clearing them to enter your workplace. Consider creating a questionnaire for visitors to fill out prior to granting access.
- Conducting a thermal temperature check before allowing employees to enter has become a common practice in many manufacturing facilities. If you haven’t already, you may consider implementing this measure as an extra safeguard against COVID-19.
- Keep a log of everyone onsite. Keep detailed records of everyone who enters your premises. Keeping a log of employees and visitors will allow for contract tracing, should it be required.
- Restrict out-of-country travel. Avoid or restrict non-essential employee travel, particularly outside of the country. If employees must travel for any reason, keep detailed travel records and enforce a mandatory quarantine after they return.
- Reduce workplace density. Set a limit to the number of people who can be onsite at once. Wherever possible, limit your on-site workforce to 50% of normal occupancy or follow local guidelines.
- Set clear policies for physical distancing in the workplace: maintaining a distance of 2 metres between employees, avoiding employee’ gatherings in common spaces (entrances, exits, stairwells, and inside trailer offices) and in-person meetings or in a closed room.
- Limit face-to-face interactions. Limit tasks where physical contact is unavoidable. Replace in-person meetings with virtual meetings, and ban large gatherings of people in the office.
- State the social distancing policy at the entrance zone and elevators
Install floor indicators to help employees respect the 2 metre distance.
- Install plexiglass panes when social distancing can not be 100% respected.
- Provide all of your employees with a vest to increase visibility for physical distancing and add an extra layer of protection. Do not share vests, coats, or any other protective clothing.
- Limit physical interactions with external parties as much as possible. For employees who must interact with vendors, take extra safety precautions. Require both parties to wear masks and protective gear to limit exposure.
- Consult public health guidelines, It’s critical to follow health and safety guidelines from local government agencies. For detailed information visit your province’s public health website.
- Establish daily disinfection procedures.
- Place hand washing stations at the entrance of the building and ask employees to wash their hands upon entry. Increase hand washing stations with proper hand hygiene reminders.
- Remind workers of proper hand washing techniques before and after shifts, during breaks, after going to the bathroom, etc.
- Provide all workers with additional breaks to wash their hands. If you are able to do so, consider adding additional handwashing stations near workstations.
- Clean and disinfect all common areas at the end of each shift.
- Provide proper equipment to promote hygiene and prohibit sharing of tools to minimize the spread of the virus.
- Clean and disinfect all tools and machinery, and increase cleaning at the end of the day.
- Disinfect keyboards, mouses and phones at the end of the day with anti-bacterial disinfectants, and leave desks empty.
facilities and equipment
- Supply PPE and disinfectants. Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves to people working in high risk areas or roles. Also consider supplying disinfectant wipes to employees to clean their personal workspace.
- Stop elevator use whenever possible. If that’s not possible, restrict elevators to 2 people at a time.
- Stop sharing items such as pens, phones, etc.
- Disinfect printers and photocopiers after each use, or find alternative solutions for their use.
- Establish electronic signatures and cashless transactions wherever possible.
- Establish protocols to move in a clockwise direction in corridors, hallways and narrow spaces.
training and communication
- Provide training on new work protocols and measures.
- Raise workforce awareness on a regular basis on how employees can stop the spread of the COVID-19.
- Promote mandatory health and hygiene protocols (e.g., hand washing, mask use, glove use) for employees, and provide instruction on proper usage and disposal of these materials.
- Post informative signage as reminders and guidelines.
- Provide workers with up-to-date information from credible sources.
- Also share details on how your company is addressing COVID-19 (i.e. your action plan and available resources).
- Set up an HR support line for addressing questions and concerns from employees.
- Build an internal responsibility system where everyone is to do their part.
- Reinforce your company's commitment to health and safety.
Randstad prepared these resources to share best practices to get back to work safely. The information in this document is intended as a guideline only. Please do additional research and consult with experts before making decisions for your business.