As more US states start opening businesses that have been put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, both owners and employees alike wonder how they can return to work safely. What are the obligations of an employer to ensure the safety of the workers? There are many safe practices the workforce can utilize once employees and customers begin to return. However, for the logistics workforce, where the workplace can become hectic and physically demanding, some might forget to take these safety measures throughout the day. Here are some guidelines released by OSHA for COVID-19 infection prevention for logistics employees and employers:
Your Obligations As An Employer
As an employer, you must provide training for your employees to better understand what COVID-19 is and the safety measures being taken by the company to ensure that a widespread infection is prevented. Take note, any training material disseminated must be easily understandable. Employees must also be frequently reminded to wash their hands at all times. According to the CDC guidelines, hand sanitizing is less effective than handwashing. Therefore, employees must wash their hands before they clock in, after they clock out, during and after meal breaks, and after using shared tools.
Disinfectants used to clean the worksite must also be non-hazardous for the employees. Most importantly, as your employees practice social distancing with each other, they must also wear face masks or cloth covers when around other people.
How To Prevent The Spread
The first rule to prevent a widespread COVID-19 infection is to send a sick employee home for quarantine whether they have tested positive or not. Employees who are experiencing symptoms most not return to work until 3 days after the symptoms have disappeared and 10 days after the symptoms started. Employers are also obligated to notify local health officials if one of their employees has tested positive to determine a plan to keep the rest of the workforce safe.
In this case, the real key to keep the workforce safe is through preventative measures. Businesses must establish routine cleaning of common areas and commonly touched surfaces such as time clocks, mobile equipment, and equipment controls. Not only that, but equipment must be disinfected between shifts and before each worker uses it. To further decrease the chances of infection, employees are encouraged to close access to the worksite and hire a professional cleaning service for a deep clean.
Physical distancing is considered an effective measure to stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19. However, sometimes it might be hard for employees to follow social distancing guidelines. Apart from having employees standing 6-feet away from each other, here are safety measures your company can take to make sure everyone practices safe social distancing. During meal or rest breaks, it’s important to stagger the instances employees stay in one area together. The tables and chairs in the break room must also be spread out. The number of employees working during the day can also be limited by staggering or increasing work shifts.
Not to worry, whether work shifts or meal breaks increase, you may still easily manage their work hours remotely. The WurkNow mobile app allows employees to clock in/out using their mobile devices. Not only that, but the mobile app also makes it easy to manage work shifts, schedules, and breaks remotely. By utilizing our geolocation technology, you can also track the location of employees to ensure they’re only logging their work hours from an authorized location.
Safety Is A Priority
As previously mentioned, the health and safety of your employees should be the utmost priority. To ensure that your facilities are prepared to prevent a COVID-19 infection, it’s important to put these safety measures into place.