Despite millions of businesses closing down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, about 79% of small businesses in the US are still operational, with 41% fully and 38% partially open. If your small business falls in this category, it’s crucial that you figure out a way to keep your business and employees safe. You need to take precautions against COVID-19 to ensure that your customers are just as safe as everyone else.
There may be a variety of changes you could make with restrictions loosening and tightening back up again, but there are certain steps you can adapt to, in order to ensure that everyone is safe at your business.
In this guide, we’ll share with you some of these steps so you can keep your business and employees safe.
Keeping Employees Safe During Covid or other Heightened Sick Seasons
1. Communicate With Employees and Educate Them
One of the most imperative parts of keeping your business and employees safe involves following stipulated safety guidelines and keeping your employee educated at all times. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidelines as the pandemic evolves and changes, so you can take note of these to help keep up with the latest regulations. Track local changes in your state and county as well to stay informed.
Washing hands at least 20 seconds and keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from each other should be standard practice for everyone across the board. Coughing into elbows or into a tissue should follow suit as well.
Communication is vital during these times because your employees must stay informed whether they are working in your brick and mortar business/store or remotely. Discuss the best protocols, the best masks to wear at work, and the best sanitation and quarantine processes.
2. Develop Protections and the Right Protocols
To protect your business, employees, and customers, it’s important that you develop protocols from the start. What will happen when one of your employees gets infected? What steps will you take to make sure they get the help they need?
How will you keep the rest of your employees and your customers safe once the virus enters your workplace? How will you handle employees that come in contact with a Covid-19 carrier? What are your precautions against COVID-19?
It’s vital that you consider every possible scenario and develop a step-by-step plan and make sure that everyone knows what they’re supposed to do during those times. Have a central communication method, even if it’s just by email, where you let everyone know what’s going on when one of these scenarios come up.
3. Ensure Temperature Checks Are Efficient
One of the various methods you can do to keep your business and employees safe from COVID-19 is by taking the precaution of checking their temperatures when they come to work. According to the CDC, temperatures should not go above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and if they do, you should send the employee back home.
Make checking your employee temperature every morning a routine, and if they go out for lunch, you can do the same as well to be cautious. Depending on your type of business, you should implement regular temperature checks.
Given that you’re a small business, the process should only take you a few minutes. However, you can always get several extra temperature devices to expedite the process. Besides, some of these devices can become inaccurate, so it pays to have one or two more just in case you need to recheck someone’s temperature.
4. Stock up on Cleaning Supplies and Implement Cleaning Schedules
To keep your business and employees safe, it’s essential that you ensure your workplace is clean. All surfaces must be clean at all times, so keep your cleaning supplies stocked up. If possible, have extra janitorial staff to ensure a high standard of cleanliness and implement office cleaning rules.
Common areas like washrooms or kitchens and common items such as doorknobs, handles, chairs, and tables should be cleaned or disinfected regularly. All this will minimize the spread of germs and keep everyone safe in the workplace, at all times, not just during this pandemic.
5. Enact Isolations and Quarantines
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If at some point one of your employees contracts the virus, you need to decide where isolation will take place so they can quarantine. A 14-day quarantine period is recommended since that’s how long it takes to develop symptoms.
Through this period, your employee must stay isolated at home so they can limit travel and come in contact with others. If possible, you need to allow them to work from home or offer them paid time off.
6. Reduce Travel as Much as Possible
Traveling facilitates the a large opportunity for the Coronavirus to spread – ie coming into contact with a larger variety of people. To curb the odds of your employees coming into contact, you may consider limiting travel. If you need to have business meetings or conferences, see whether you can transition to online meetings instead.
There are numerous collaboration tools online right now, from documents to video platforms that can access people from any location in the country. Ensure that your employees are able to stay in the region if they have to deliver goods. Going into red zones increases their chances of contracting the virus and bringing it back to the workplace.
7. Facilitate Remote Work
Currently, 42% of the US workforce is working from home full-time, and if you can facilitate the same in your business, it would help keep the employees safe. It could be partial if not full time, and it could be some employees if not all. Do it where possible to ensure that as many people as possible stay home where they are a lot safer from the virus.
8. Adjust Company Policies
Given the fluctuations of safety measures due to the constant changes, it’s crucial for you to change your company policies to ensure protection and flexibility are a top priority. You need to protect your employee’s jobs and understand that they have families to take care of as well. This means you should consider paid sick leaves, benefits, and making salary payments on time for everyone.
Keeping Your Business and Employees Safe
During these trying times, it’s important you keep your business running and keep your employees and customers safe at the same time. Take the above precautions to help keep both the business and employees safe. You will have a strong and solid foundation for the future of your business.
Beyond all that, it’s imperative to ensure you have proper commercial insurance policies for your business that cover both the business and the employees. For more information about business insurance policies, please get in touch with Kicker Insures Me Agency, and we’ll advise you accordingly.