As businesses across the country await the green light to welcome back employees and customers, business owners have a lot to consider. Reopening too soon without the proper measures in place to ensure safety can have dire consequences. Some have expressed fear that customers and employees may sue as they reopen.
To help guide trepid business owners, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance webpage that has an interactive map with the latest guidelines, timelines, and other critical information for businesses to restart safely.
What you can expect
Many states are calling for businesses to complete certain requirements before they can open, including self-certifying that they have met safety guidelines. These may include:
- Reviewing their state’s published guidance
- Performing a detailed risk assessment for their industry
- Preparing a COVID- 19 protection plan based on the guidance
- Implementing a site-specific COVID-19 protection plan to keep on site and readily available
- Completing an industry specific checklist
- Self-certifying and posting proof in the workplace to show customers and employees
- Granting a site inspection
Safety guidelines to attest to
Businesses must demonstrate that they are following strict safety guidelines to keep employees and customers safe. Requirements cover employee screening, physical distancing, protective equipment, hygiene and cleaning procedures.
Balance Point has been closely monitoring these requirements as we prepare to welcome back our employees. Here are examples of the many guidelines employers may have to address and attest to:
- Ensure 6 ft. distance between personnel
- Post social distancing markers using tape or signs that denote 6 ft. of spacing in commonly used areas
- Limit in-person gatherings as much as possible and use tele- or video-conferencing whenever possible
- Provide employees with an acceptable face covering at no-cost to the employee and have an adequate supply of coverings in case of replacement
- Limit the sharing of objects and discourage touching of shared surfaces
Hygiene and Cleaning
- Adhere to hygiene and sanitation requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain cleaning logs on site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning
- Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations for personnel, including handwashing with soap, water, and paper towels, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not feasible
- Post signage throughout the site to remind personnel to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols
- Maintain a continuous log of every person, including workers and visitors, who may have close contact with other individuals at the work site or area
Screening and Contact Tracing
- Implement mandatory health screening assessment (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) before employees begin work each day and for essential visitors. Assessment responses must be reviewed every day and such review must be documented
- Have a plan for cleaning, disinfection, and contact tracing in the event of a positive case
Your State’s Guidance
Requirements vary by state, so consult the published guidance put forth by yours.
As you navigate these ever-changing guidelines, Balance Point is here to help. Keep up to date on the latest information by visiting our COVID-19 Preparedness Resources for Employers.