To successfully manage the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace, both owners and employees need to be prepared and take deliberate actions. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily through respiratory droplets and aerosols.
It is important to know the COVID-19 factors and keep track of the rapidly emerging developments of the virus, especially for business owners. Consider taking these 4 steps to maintain a safe workplace and reassure the employees that the management is appropriately monitoring and responding to the current pandemic.
Take Health and Safety Precautions
The best way to ensure the employee’s safety is by reinforcing good hygiene and following safety precautions. Here are some recommendations from the Australian Government to avoid the spread of the virus.
- Ensure social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 1.5 meters between people
- Regular handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Routinely cleaning and disinfecting all workplace most-touched surfaces, including workstations, countertops, and doorknobs.
- Use of protective personal equipment (PPE) appropriately
Flexible Workplace Policies
In today’s digital age, encouraging and mandating employees to adopt a work-from-home policy is very common. Businesses should be as accommodating as possible when it comes to working arrangements. Many workplaces, including high profile companies like Google and Microsoft, are adopting the WFH arrangement in the meantime, if employees can get their work done remotely, provide IT support, equipment and ensure they have a mechanism in place.
However, for small businesses, the situation is likely different, and remote working is probably limited to few. If working remotely is not possible, there are still ways to accommodate the employees, such as staggering shifts and work benefits.
Monitor COVID-19 Developments daily
The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to expand internationally, with new developments and happenings almost daily. This current situation is highly fluid.
To stay informed, both CDC and WHO post “the latest updates and findings” on their websites.
Keep regular and open communication with the employees regarding these updates. This is an effective way to demonstrate to the workforce that the management is doing its part in monitoring the situation to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Plan and Prepare for Emergencies
The ‘General Duty’ clause of WHS laws requires business owners to provide employees with a safe and healthy workplace and comply with WHS standards and rules. The WHS laws also include requirements for workers to complete specific training and assessment before undertaking work or job roles, including First Aid Training.
First Aid Training helps businesses to prepare for crises and emergencies. It will help identify workplace risks and, where possible, eliminate or minimise those risks, which is particularly important in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Business owners should strive to be cautious yet thoughtful about their approach in addressing the pandemic in the workplace. Having a coordinated and well-thought approach can help mitigate the risk while reducing the employee’s concerns.
For more information on WHS Training and Assessment and First Aid Training, reach out to us at email@example.com.