Best practices for restarting business operations following a pandemic event
The following is a brief list of suggestions for business owners restarting their operations either after a state or county-wide quarantine is lifted or after local shelter-in-place orders have been rescinded. For additional questions, please reach out to your Insperity service representative.
Disinfecting the workplace
- Focus on commonly touched and communal areas (i.e. doorknobs, handles, guardrails, counters, etc.)
- Establishments deemed essential businesses and working throughout the quarantine may need to be
- disinfected 2-3 times daily, depending on number of staff and if members of general public are served on-site.
- Review directions on the bleach container label. Do not try to produce your own liquid bleach!
- Bleach solutions measuring up to 600 ppm in composition will successfully disinfect hard non-porous surfaces.
- For products with around 6% bleach, use up to a third of a cup per gallon of water.
- For products with around 8% bleach, use up to a quarter of a cup per gallon of water.
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol and most EPA-registered household disinfectants can be utilized.
- Ensure that no other cleaning products containing ammonia are used at the same time!
- Provide employees performing disinfection with personal protective equipment (PPE), such as chemical-resistant gloves, eye goggles, aprons, etc. Ensure adequate ventilation during disinfecting procedures.
Returning staff to a safe work environment
- Any employee who had suffered respiratory stress or otherwise felt symptoms commonly associated with a flu should remain home for at least 3 days after resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, shown improvement in respiratory symptoms, and after at least 7 days after onset of symptoms.
- Consider a staggered return to work practice. Employees who assist customers in-person, supply chain management workers, and other mission-critical staff will be prioritized for initial return. Remote or non- critical employees may be asked to work remotely for another calendar week before returning to work.
- Gradually build-up workplace density and reduce chances of accidental transmission.
- Remind staff to maintain social distancing whenever possible and practice personal hygiene, particularly washing hands throughout the day and using hand sanitizers, if available.
Providing effective and safe customer service
- Consider posting signs on your entrance asking customers feeling ill, feverish, or coughing to either not enter the premises, have a company representative meet them outside, or wear a facemask if their necessary.
- Have masks, gloves, and disinfectant / sanitizer products available at all in-person customer service points.
- Limit the number of employees providing direct customer service; said employees may wear gloves if handling items held by the customer. These employees could be also asked to wash their hands or disinfect regularly.
- Good social distancing practices with customers may include:
- Remote drop-off / pick-up of products as opposed to directly handing those over between individuals. o Installing a protective screen with a small service window for products and/or currency to pass through.
While there is no telling for how long individuals still may transmit infectious pathogens after the quarantine is lifted, continue to exercise common sense and use your best judgement. Only check trusted sources, such as Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and your local public health resources for additional guidance.
Insperity’s Safety Services are provided to help reduce workplace injuries and illnesses to worksite employees. But only your company controls its worksite safety and operations. For that reason, your company remains solely responsible for compliance with all health and safety Laws applicable to your worksites and motor vehicles. Our Safety Services Consultants’ knowledge of workplace standards and best practices may aid your company’s efforts to meet its responsibility to provide a safe workplace, but any reference to those standards or any support we provide to your company does not alter the allocation of responsibilities in our Client Service Agreement.