Since the beginning of the pandemic, many things have changed in the way we run the operations of our businesses, welcome or not. Businesses that are currently open or preparing to re-open and return employees and essential visitors to the workplace must remain mindful of their obligations to implement and enforce the necessary measures to protect the health and ensure the safety and well-being of their workforce. Here are three reasons to rethink your current COVID-19-related health and safety policies:
- Employers are mandated to protect workers from COVID-19
- Asymptomatic infections can be as infectious as serious cases COVID-19
- Recoverying better means rebuilding better
It will require careful planning as even though the usual policies such as no personal contact, no item sharing, mandatory sanitization and face mask rules remain imperative, the real challenge now lies in managing the invisible nature of the virus where employees returning to the office are COVID-19 positive but are either asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and are unknowingly spreading the virus. Policies should make provision for, for example, targeted asymptomatic testing and isolation to break the chain of transmission. This will certainly be a mammoth task considering that not all businesses can enforce a zero-tolerance policy. However, where possible and within reason, this should be the status quo going forward.
1. Employers are mandated to protect workers from COVID-19
In line with government and state regulations, employers must take every reasonable precaution to protect the health and safety of their workforce. This includes protecting workers from hazards posed by infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
2. Asymptomatic infections can be as infectious as serious cases COVID-19
Policies should make provision for, for example, targeted asymptomatic testing and isolation to break the chain of transmission. This will certainly be a mammoth task considering that not all businesses can enforce a zero-tolerance policy. However, where possible and within reason, this should be the status quo going forward.
3. Recovering better means rebuilding better
The devil is in the details, and with safety as an underlying principle, the content of health and safety policies should apply to your organization’s specific COVID-19 challenges while remaining consistent with regulatory requirements and business needs. For instance, taking the temperature of employees and essential visitors to your premises is now mandatory and your health and your policies should reflect this.
Our latest guide, 3 Must-knows to Limit the Spread of Coronavirus at the Workplace, offers a working solution to safely re-open the workplace by limiting the spread of asymptomatic COVID-19 and reveals, amongst others, why your existing health and safety policies are most likely not relevant in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out today what’s hindering you from safely re-opening and running your business efficiently and at full capacity so you can continue to grow your business in 2021 and beyond!
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