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Haylor Risk Management Blog

Covid-19:  Tips for Re-Opening Your Business Safely

Posted by Risk Management Team on May 6, 2020 4:35:49 PM

Follow State and Federal Guidance

As New York State and the rest of the country inch their way towards a safe return to work and reopening business, these tips can be a useful tool as your business makes its plans.  

Complete a Workplace Risk Assessment

  • What jobs and activities could put your employees at risk (office, field, plant, travel, etc.)
  • How can workers be protected from exposure from co-workers, customers, vendors, and the general public
  • Are there physical or engineering controls that can reduce the risk of exposure, (i.e., barriers, ventilation)
  • Are your workers provided with adequate personal protective equipment
  • Are you workers trained in how to reduced risk
  • How do you ensure employees are complying with your requirements 
  • Is it more cost effective to have your employees work remotely

Develop a Workplace Safety Plan

  • Screening - Conduct employee health screening and monitoring that may include temperature checks and health screening questionnaires
  • Social Distancing - Institute social distancing controls that may include restrictions on group meetings, staggering lunch and break times, re-arranging furniture and chairs so there is at least 6’ of separation for all workers, only allow one person per vehicle, use phone calls instead of face-to-face meetings, provide one-way entrances and exits.  
  • Sanitation - Institute enhanced sanitation for High touch surfaces such as door handles, restrooms, lunchroom, reception, copiers / printers, Vending, Coffee machine
  • Handwashing – Provide additional hand washing and/or sanitation stations at entrances, restroom,  elevators, lobbies, breakrooms, or any other high traffic area 
  • Personal Protective Equipment – Require employees & customers to wear appropriate PPE such as masks and gloves.  Train employees on proper use, limitations, storage, and disposal.  Follow OSHA training and inspection requirements.  
  • Workplace Density:  Adjust workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce or stagger  headcount, allowing for proper social distancing
  • Business Travel – Define acceptable and unacceptable business travel.  Only allow one person per vehicle.  Describe circumstances where employees are and are not allowed to the fly, take public transportation, drive company vehicles, etc.
  • Business meetings – describe acceptable meetings with clients, vendors, prospects, co-workers, and the general public
  • Visitor Policy – establish a visitor policy for clients, customers, vendors, contractors, friends and family, etc.


Establish an Infection Plan

    • What course of action will you take if an employee:
      • Exhibits symptoms without a positive test
      • Employee tests positive
      • Employee with symptoms in close contact with someone who tests positive such as a Co-worker, customer, vendor, Friend/family/other
      • Employee shows no symptoms, but was in close contact with someone who tests positive such as a Co-worker, customer, vendor, Friend/family/other
    • When and how an employee can a return to work
    • Communications with co-workers

Review and Update your Human Resources Policy

    • What is your leave policy around Covid-19
    • Will workers get paid or have to use their PTO if they get Covid-19 or are quarantined
    • When and how can employee return to work
    • Will employees be allowed to work from home and how will you manage their attendance and productivity
    • Are you in compliance with emergency leave laws such as EFMLA
    • What if employees who don’t want to come back to the work environment and only want to work remotely

Communicate with Your Employees

    • Assigned a point of contact
    • Communicate regularly (i.e., weekly) with your employees on your return to work plans
    • Train employees on their roles and responsibilities  
    • Provide workplace signage such as Covid-19 Signs and Symptoms; handwashing guidelines, and social distancing
    • Provide employee a way to give feedback and suggestions

Document Return to Work and Employee Protection Activities

    • Formalized steps and practices to ensure employee safety
    • Employee communications
    • Employee training
    • Employee feedback
    • Inspection and compliance activities

At Haylor, Freyer & Coon, we believe it is always best to get your information from trusted sources.  The links below will connect you with several of those sites.  

For more information about this and other loss control/safety topics contact usContact Us 


Topics: safety, OSHA, Coronavirus Guidance for Business