Covid-19 Returning to Work Inductions, Transitioning, Safety Start Up and Re Entry Plans

Covid-19 Returning to Work Inductions, Slogans, Posters, Transitioning, Safety Start Up and Re Entry Plans

With the “flattening of the curve” now a reality and fewer and fewer cases of coronavirus being reported, workplaces will be starting to at least think about transitioning employees back into the workplace and returning to whatever normal is going to look like. Here are some resources that could assist you to do that whilst ensuring the health and safety of your employees. The process should be undertaken with a properly developed start up plan.

Free Download: Covid-19 Re-Entry Considerations (4152 downloads)

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Health and Safety Slogans – HERE>>>>>>>>>>>>>

COVID-19: 10 Steps for a Safe Reopening [Photo Gallery]

The National Safety Council (the champions of simple, dumb, compliance safety) has provided universal recommendations.

As state governments across the United State release guidelines for reopening following COVID-19 shutdowns, employers scramble to implement new processes and procedures.

Following the recent formation of the Safe Actions for Employee Returns (SAFER) task force, the National Safety Council (NSC) has provided basic return-to-work recommendations that apply to any industry.

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B explains why it is so important to build mental health and suicide prevention support into site inductions, toolbox talks and briefings. He will take you through the resources that MATES has created for returning to work after Covid-19 lockdown:

HIA Making space on site: COVID-19 site induction

HIA has developed a COVID-19 site induction to help builders and trade contractors include COVID-19 into their regular site induction processes.

The HIA Making space on site: COVID-19 site induction uses the HIA SafeScan QR Code to enable a contactless site induction for everyone who enters a building site.

The one QR code can be used across all worksites wherever mobile device coverage is available. MORE INFO AND DOWNLOAD >>>>>

COVID-19: Top 10 focus areas for workplace re-entry checklist by JLL – https://www.us.jll.com/en/views/covid19-top-10-focus-areas-for-workplace-re-entry

From local government regulations and landlord policies to facilities management and occupancy planning, address these key areas when re-entering the workplace.

While organizations are anxious to get employees back into the workplace, they must keep in mind that determining who will return and when they will return is a complex process. Local government mandates and landlord policies must be considered, as should employees’ confidence in building safety.

Use this checklist to make sure you are addressing the key areas to focus on for re-entry into the workplace.

Local government regulations
  • Confirm guidance from your local government on reopening office buildings to workers.
  • Determine whether a new certificate of occupancy is required from your regulatory authorities.
Landlord policies
  • Confirm procedures and/or rules for building re-entry and occupation.
  • Determine policies regarding building cleanliness and safety.
Business continuity plan (BCP) alignment
  • Determine whether your BCP includes a verified list of the essential roles and individuals included in re-entry.
  • Confirm that contingency plans/critical response mechanisms are in place in the event that the reopening should fail or the virus reoccurs and forces additional closures.
Supply chain
  • Identify and confirm supply chains for personal protection equipment and determine advance ordering requirements for long lead-time items.
Human resources (HR)/legal considerations
  • Determine protocols for ensuring employees with high-risk conditions (e.g. lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, immunocompromised, obesity, diabetes, liver disease) do not return to the office.
  • Ensure a policy/process exists to report and track infections and compliance with HIPAA rules and to report grievances.
Space/occupancy
  • Develop seating/floor plans to meet social distancing guidelines per your local government.
  • Establish new workplace etiquette and protocols and communicate them via signage posted throughout the workplace. Be sure to consider ADA implications when making changes.
  • Plan how to address impacts on specialty areas (e.g. wellness and mothers rooms, gyms, showers and lockers, mailrooms, breakrooms).
  • Determine a policy for employee access to company buildings other than their primary workplace.
Facilities management
  • Confirm emergency evacuation procedures in compliance with social distancing requirements, and assign “floor wardens” responsible for managing evacuation.
  • Establish elevator social distancing guidelines for multi-story buildings, and calculate and confirm elevator protocols and occupancy levels with your building landlord.
  • Create phased and “quick close” procedures to shut down offices in the event the reopening fails or virus reoccurrence forces new closures.
Technology
  • Establish enhanced occupancy and employee tracking for building location, space utilization, and potential infection zones.
  • Evaluate the room reservation technology and equipment provided at the desk support social distancing and disinfection.
Security
  • Determine entry/exit badging protocols for essential employees returning to the building.
  • Establish/confirm building shutdown policies in the event the facility needs to be closed again.
Approvals
  • Decide who in each region/market/office is responsible for announcing office openings/closures.
  • Determine who needs to approve the re-opening plan (e.g. regional crisis management team, market/country leadership, enterprise risk & audit teams, business units, IT, security, legal and HR teams).

 

Preparing For Re-Entry: Key Considerations For Returning Employees To The Workplace Amid The COVID-19 Crisis

by JD Supra: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/preparing-for-re-entry-key-52295/

On April 16, 2020, the White House issued “Opening Up America Again,” federal guidelines to reopen the U.S. economy through a three-phase approach. State and local governments are also beginning to create their own frameworks to gradually lift stay-at-home orders, with important differences in each locality. In turn, employers should take steps now to prepare for reopening their physical workplaces and returning employees to work in offices and other facilities when it is appropriate to do so.

This Client Alert highlights preliminary legal, practical and policy considerations and action items for employers in preparation for restarting operations based on current knowledge. COVID-19 guidance changes rapidly. Please consult with your Goodwin Employment team for the most up-to-date advice as you prepare to return employees to work.

BE PROACTIVE IN ASSESSING WORKPLACES AND MAKING MODIFICATIONS TO REDUCE COVID-19-RELATED RISKS

Engage in Active Planning. Before reopening any physical workplace, of paramount concern to employers will be reducing workplace risks for employees and other individuals who may be exposed to COVID-19 as a result of onsite operations of a business. Employers should rely on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), state and local authorities, and orders and rules regarding best practices for workplace safety. Initial action items include:

  • Establish a COVID-19 Re-entry Task Force. Employers should consider creating a multi-disciplinary task force to prepare for and to monitor the reopening of physical workplaces. Members of such a task force should include members of the human resources and legal teams (or outside counsel if the employer does not have in-house counsel), persons responsible for facilities, operations and safety, and selected managers, as well as non-supervisory employees from different segments of the employee population.1 The task force should have a chair who is an effective leader and has experience with project management and execution. The team should be highly functional and nimble so that it can meet often and pivot as necessary to adjust to the ever changing landscape associated with COVID-19. The task force should coordinate with relevant landlords and property management companies to determine any restrictions on modifying the physical workspace. Ultimately, the task force should be responsible for considering re-entry issues and developing workplace specific approaches to re-entry action items, including those raised in this Client Alert.
  • Conduct a Risk Assessment. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (the “OSH Act”) requires employers to provide employees with a workplace free from “recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” In light of that obligation, employers should consider conducting a COVID-19-specific risk assessment of their physical work environments under OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, available here. In conducting the risk assessment, employers should classify the exposure risk level of the various roles in the workplace in accordance with the OSHA Guidance and take appropriate steps to protect workers with medium, high, and very high exposure risk jobs. The OSHA Guidance recommends minimum standards for each employee risk level, but employers may choose to implement more stringent protections, particularly if their workplaces are in locations with significant community spread or other risk factors. Employers may also wish to review the CDC’s “Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19”, available here, even if they do not have “critical workers,” as the CDC has identified these measures as mitigating the risk of transmission by those potentially exposed to COVID-19, as well as “Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings (Interim Guidance)” available here, which includes new information relating to asymptomatic persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19.

READ MORE HERE: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/preparing-for-re-entry-key-52295/

Planning For A Post-COVID Environment – https://chiefexecutive.net/planning-for-a-post-covid-environment/

This crisis will indeed pass at some point—in the aftermath, performance, sales and employee morale will be down and transparency will matter more than ever.

For corporate managers and other executives, the COVID-19 outbreak is a new kind of crisis that no one alive has had to deal with before.

But, if there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, it is that transparency is paramount in the face of these kinds of challenges. Whether it’s a business downturn, a natural disaster or a global pandemic, it’s human nature to yearn for information, good or bad, so that we can make our own decisions and to rally the troops.

This crisis is going to pass at some point. But once it does, the reality is that many businesses are going to suffer massive performance deficits. Sales are going to be behind and profits are going to be down.

The faster we can get our workforce back to full productivity after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, the faster we can recover from the lasting impacts and related economic damage. Open and clear lines of communication will be critical to generate the kind of momentum in the workforce to help solve the problem.

Here are some recommendations for CEOs to start thinking about now to lead the transition back to the office in the post-coronavirus environment.

1. Reassure employees their safety remains at top priority. It will still be extraordinarily important that we take the same preventative measures when workers return that we took on their way out of the workplace to keep this thing from coming back. We need to reassure employees that we are sanitizing surfaces, encouraging hand washing, and maintaining an appropriate level of social distancing. Companies may want to consider staggered work schedules to allow greater amounts of individual space, and to ensure procedures are in place for proper cleaning of floors and work spaces. We have created a presentation with sanitizing reminders that we have posted throughout the workspace, and we will keep that going when workers return. READ MORE >>>>>>>

Returning from travel to affected areas – https://oshwiki.eu/wiki/COVID-19:_guidance_for_the_workplace

People who have returned from areas where COVID-19 countermeasures are in effect in the last 14 days should avoid attending work. They should call the designated public health service for advice and self-isolate.

Advice from your national public health authority is in place for what to do if you have returned in the last 14 days from specified countries or areas, which is updated on an ongoing basis.

All other staff should continue to attend work, unless otherwise advised by the national authorities or their employer.

Advice for staff returning from travel anywhere else within the last 14 days

These staff can continue to attend work unless they have been informed that they have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. If individuals are aware that they have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should contact their employer and the designated public health services for further advice.

The latest country information is available from the national authorities or from the ECDC website.

Guidance on Effective Return to Work

Greencap’s expert team of Health & Safety and Occupational Hygiene consultants can assist you to:

  • Identify risks in your workplace including those relating to COVID-19, and develop effective strategies that eliminate or minimise those risks, whilst ensuring continuity of operations
  • Provide guidance on the effective return to work of workers as restrictions are lifted
  • Provide supporting strategies for both physical and psychological health
  • Provide guidance and instruction on effective hygiene techniques and environmental cleaning and decontamination of workplaces
  • Provide advice on PPE and Respiratory Protective Equipment selection, use, maintenance, fitting and disposal

COVID-19: CDC Guidance on Returning to Work – https://www.assp.org/news-and-articles/2020/04/02/covid-19-when-to-return-to-work

The spread of COVID-19 is impacting employers across the country. For workforces not able to work remotely, employers are asking how they should address workers who exhibit symptoms or have a confirmed case of the disease.

With the number of positive cases of the virus continuing to rise, what steps should you take if one of your workers has COVID-19, and when should they be allowed to return to work? The CDC offers guidance on prudent timelines for different scenarios.

Return to work following recovery from COVID-19 –  https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/04/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-employers_2.pdf

Employees who have been isolated after having tested positive for COVID-19 can return to work when they have fully recovered and have met the criteria for clearance from isolation. The criteria may vary depending on circumstances of the workplace and states and territories may manage clearance from isolation differently. Clearance may be by the public health authority or the persons treating clinician. There are specific criteria which apply to health care workers and aged care workers. As these may change, these workers should check with a medical practitioner or the public health authority as to whether the criteria for clearance from isolation have been met before they return to work. Even after recovering from COVID-19, people should continue to be diligent regarding hand hygiene and cough etiquette and practise social distancing.

Reducing stigma in the workplace

It is important employers support staff returning to work and workplace discrimination does not occur. Employers can take steps to reduce stigma around COVID-19 for those returning to work after a period of precautionary self-quarantine or illness.

These include:

• Encouraging staff not to make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin

• Maintaining confidentiality regarding staff members confirmed to have COVID-19

• Inviting staff to discuss, in private, any concerns about COVID-19 in the workplace

• Advising staff that it is safe for their colleagues who have completed -quarantine to return to work once the period has been completed, as long as they don’t have symptoms

10 Considerations for Transitioning Back to Work in a Post-COVID-19 World

from: https://www.gensler.com/research-insight/blog/10-considerations-for-transitioning-back-to-work-in-a-post

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new and incredible challenges for millions of workers around the globe. In just a matter of weeks, the workforce at large has quickly and strategically navigated the sudden shift to remote working, while maintaining the symbiotic relationship between business continuity and employee well-being.

As we look ahead, our clients across the globe are grappling with how they can plan, communicate, and transition hundreds to thousands of employees back into the office with new guidelines and policies to maintain the health of both employees and the company. They’re asking: How do we start planning the transition back into the office when the time comes? What can we start doing now?

For many organizations, implementing an effective outcome starts with those on the front lines: the IT, human resources, real estate, facilities, and service teams who support teams remotely and accommodate the critical staff who still remain in the office. These teams are challenged with the logistics of planning and implementing new ways of working that balance business continuity with employee safety — now, and in the months to come.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, we’ve outlined some considerations, tools, and methodologies that we’re working with clients on that may help guide other organizations who are facing these unprecedented challenges:

1. Rethink density to prioritize physical distancing.

For critical departments and workers who remain in the office or are soon heading back, we’re seeing utilization of the entire, now largely vacant, workplace being used to accommodate physical distancing. While maintaining the existing layout of desks and furniture, seating can be assigned to accommodate the latest recommendations for safe physical distancing.

2. Plan phased scenarios for returning to work.

With limited seating available and essential workers identified, organizations can plan for phased re-entry to the office based on role and vulnerability criteria. The time frame between each group phasing back in may be based on need and the continued health of employees.

3. Identify essential and vulnerable workers.

While many office workers have transitioned to working from home, some individuals cannot work remotely due to the nature of their role or for security reasons. Some of these individuals may still be going to the office or will be some of the first staff to phase back in. HR data is being used to help identify which workers are critical to remain in the office so that accommodations can be made.

4. Reconfigure flex spaces.

While using every other desk may cut your capacity in half or more, activating conference rooms, focus rooms, learning labs, and break out spaces as dedicated seating areas can increase the headcount of staff in the office while maintaining physical distancing. As workers return to the office, these spaces will again be used to enhance collaboration in a safe way. Clearly identifying which seats respect physical distancing and removing excess seating will help users follow guidelines.

5. Reconsider the use of free address seating areas.

Free address workplaces typically operate on a first come-first serve basis and offer fewer desks than people. The immediate concern with this type of workplace is cleanliness and cross-contamination from multiple people sharing desks. These spaces may need to be used differently until the COVID-19 threat is over.

6. Track who sits where.

With essential employees spread out across the office and temporarily sitting at a desk previously assigned to someone else, clear communication regarding the expected seat assignments can add transparency and clarity to all parties. Indicating the respective desks, break rooms, and bathrooms to be used can also help facilities teams prioritize cleaning plans for spaces being used.

7. Introduce shift work.

This approach allows for more individuals to use the workplace on a shift basis. With clearly assigned desks, physical distancing can be maintained for those on the same shift, while making the office accessible to a larger number of employees over time. It also allows for facilities to plan their cleaning schedule. Shifts may take place over daily or weekly timeframes, depending on the needs and goals of each organization.

8. Designate isolation rooms.

In the event an employee begins exhibiting symptoms — whether in building lobbies, common areas, or tenant spaces — organizations will need the ability to isolate anyone who is or becomes symptomatic while at work. Designating and communicating spaces so that every manager and employee knows their location and purpose is necessary for ensuring workers’ well-being.

9. Plan and communicate cleaning regimens.

10. Screen for admittance to the office.

To mitigate the chance of bringing COVID-19 to the office, companies are implementing mandatory screening protocols for all employees every day before they enter the office. Screening questions range from travel-related questions to health symptoms. The results of the screen will indicate whether the individual should enter the workplace or remain home on each day.

READ MORE HERE: https://www.gensler.com/research-insight/blog/10-considerations-for-transitioning-back-to-work-in-a-post

COVID-19 Information for workplaces.

Extensive Resources form Safework Australia including a large number of industry specific resources

You can find information by:

  • using the content filter above and picking the drop-down menus that are relevant to you
  • using the search bar at the top of the page to search for COVID-19 content. Add the words ‘COVID-19’ in your search criteria to ensure you find what you need, or
  • using the tiles below to browse through our information.
Duties under WHS laws
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Industry information on COVID-19

Information about work health and safety for your industry and COVID-19.

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Information about work health and safety and COVID-19 in other languages.

Signage and posters

Signs and posters for the workplace to download.

COVID-19 resource kit

Resources for businesses to download.

Industry Information

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