Guidance for Bringing Workers Back to the Workplace
As you may know, Governor Gretchen Whitmer rolled back most of Michigan’s COVID restrictions regarding indoor/outdoor capacity, wearing masks, and gathering with others.
This means that some businesses will be putting a plan in place of how to get their employees back to the workplace.
If you’re trying to figure out tasks such as what you’ll need to do to get your business ready for these new changes or how you’ll get new and old employees available to work, we have some guidance for you, courtesy of our partners at Cincinnati Insurance Company.
Our partners at Cincinnati Insurance Company have broken down these business reopening and business continuation tips based on operations, property, fleet, workers’ compensation, liability, and product liability. Feel free to adjust this accordingly to your own plan.
- Establish a team that will review property, fleet, workers’ compensation, liability and product liability standings for risk management and safety concerns. You can have team members that include senior management, operations or production management, fleet and employee safety specialists, risk managers and human resources personnel. Please be sure to pick team members who will be responsible for managing an area of risk for your organization. If you’re planning for restarting operations, conduct a pre-opening meeting prior to reopening to assure each area of risk has been addressed.
- Determine the demand for your company’s products or services by contacting your customers. Based on potential demand, evaluate your current inventory and resources. If additional materials or supplies are needed, contact your suppliers to discuss their ability to provide goods. Be sure to research alternatives where there may be shortages.
- Check that all your fire protection systems are up to date for inspection, testing and maintenance.
- Ensure that special hazard controls, such as commercial cooking fire protection and spray areas, have been addressed and are active.
- Evaluate your inventory and supplies to ensure there is not a surplus that could compromise suppression systems.
- If you’re reopening, use the time before you restart to clean the premises and evaluate overall housekeeping.
- Ensure your vehicles are ready for business. Complete inspections and perform needed maintenance and repairs.
- Evaluate your current hiring, training and driver monitoring practices, especially if you’ll need to hire additional drivers. Adjust your practices as necessary.
- Consider adding telematics, in-cab cameras or other fleet safety and management systems.
- Check to see if your fleet operations are compliant with state and federal regulations.
- Stay in contact with idled employees and determine who will be coming back to the workplace. Consider temporary agencies, if necessary, for staffing.
- Reevaluate recruiting, screening, hiring and orientation practices if new employees will be hired. Adjust these practices as necessary.
- Review your workplace safety and health policies and procedures to ensure programs are up to date and that they include communication and training.
- Evaluate your start-up procedures to ensure equipment is ready to go and safety features are in place and functioning properly.
- Follow all federal, local and state requirements for preventing the future spread of COVID in the workplace. Develop a plan to meet social distancing requirements, personal protective equipment needs and sanitation before staff returns. (Private businesses may still require certain safety precautions to be in place even with restrictions lifted).
- Conduct walk-throughs of buildings and grounds to ensure satisfactory and defect-free conditions. Make repairs as necessary to ensure public safety.
- Consider standards for social distancing for customers and employees. Provide and require personal protective equipment as necessary, including gloves, masks and hand sanitizer.
- Incorporate the latest standards for disinfection and sanitization of the work environment and customer accessible areas to ensure employee and customer safety.
- Bring employees back in a non-discriminatory manner. For example, use seniority or job-specific criteria, not age, sex or race.
- Get contractual agreements from any new relationships reviewed by your legal counsel.
- Reach out to your independent insurance agent if you are considering any change in operations – before changing operations – to ensure proper coverages are put in place before beginning new operations.
- Evaluate any changes in your products or services and the need for modifications to design processes and quality assurance.
- Provide complete recordkeeping for suppliers, materials, product identification and tracking for new products.
- Ensure any new product labels, warnings and instructions comply with American National Standards Institute standards.
If you have any questions regarding any of these guidance tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will be glad to help!