Returning to Normal Amid COVID-19 Safety Concerns
It’s week two of National Safety Month, and the topic is Address Ongoing COVID-19 Safety Concerns.
The “new normal” is so 2020. After over a year of rigorous safety rules and guidelines, people are ready to get back to normal. This return to normalcy includes returning to an in-person work environment for more employees. With infection rates down and vaccination rates up, many employers are asking their workers to come back to the office. The question is, how do companies address ongoing COVID-19 safety concerns?
Answer Questions Before They Ask
People adjusted to masking, social distancing, and wipe-down and sanitizing procedures in a relatively short time. With new guidance for workplaces and businesses from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recommendations are shifting, leading to drastic changes and stoking COVID-19 safety concerns as policies and practices shift. As you ask your employees to return to work, let them know how your facility interprets this guidance and how you will implement new procedures. For example, make it clear who will be required to mask and who won’t, including where and when. And don’t forget to provide communication and signage for customers and worksite visitors.
Provide Options and Honor Privacy
As of this writing, much of the CDC’s guidance differentiates between recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. This can pose a challenge for employers as they try to bring workers back into physical work locations. Asking for someone’s vaccination status can be sensitive, and some employees may see it as a violation of their privacy. Rather than ask about status, many employers give workers the option to disclose. And consider giving vaccinated workers who have ongoing COVID-19 safety concerns the option to continue wearing a mask without question.
Continue to Provide Mitigation
A great way to address lingering COVID-19 safety concerns is to keep cleaners, hand sanitizers, and masks handy to hasten the spread of pathogens in general. Though it’s unlikely workplaces will have to be as rigorous with cleaning procedures and masking and sanitation requirements as they were at the height of the pandemic, encouraging regular cleaning and good hygiene can help prevent the transmission of everything from the common cold to the norovirus to the flu. And a healthy workforce is a productive workforce!
We Can Help You Face COVID-19 Safety Concerns
Our Safety Specialists and OSHA-certified Trainers can offer safety guidance as you navigate COVID-19 safety concerns. Contact us today!