As various government authorities begin to implement business re-opening measures, businesses are now planning to move their employees back to the workplace as state and local stay-at-home orders begin to expire. The following guides can help employers safely re-open their work sites and provide protection to their returning employees.
Under this first phase, employers should continue to encourage staff to telework if possible. If the business needs to have staff work on-site, return to work plans should be put into place in phases, with only essential workers on-site. In addition, non-essential business travel should be minimized and vulnerable populations should be provided accommodations.
According to the White House, vulnerable populations include the elderly and individuals with serious underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and compromised immune systems (i.e., chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy).
As things continue to improve, employers should still encourage telework, common areas should remain closed, non-essential travel may occur more regularly, and physical distancing practices should be enforced. In addition, vulnerable populations should be provided accommodations.
Once the third phase has commenced, companies may resume with unrestricted staffing of work sites. However, physical distancing, sanitation, and other protective measures should still be in place to help protect workers.