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April 27, 2020

Managing risk during COVID-19

Business Advice | 3 minute read
Erin Deter

Author: Erin Deter

With a background as a clinical therapist, you could say Erin has a sincere passion for people. When not supporting employees to embody their authentic selves, you can find her at a Colorado Rapids game, cooking (haphazardly), or in the great outdoors with her dog daughters.

With the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak, staying on top of your workplace health and safety responsibilities is more important than ever. To help keep your staff safe and healthy, here are some simple steps you can take to help mitigate risk to your business and your employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Confidentially identify vulnerable staff members

The first step is to identify if any of your staff meet the ‘vulnerable group’ criteria. These people are:

  • People over the age of 60
  • People with autoimmune diseases
  • People with a pre-existing chronic disease

2. Have staff confidentially share their status

Ask your employees to declare if they are at risk or if they fit any of the guidelines to self-isolate. For example, has a staff member come into contact with any person diagnosed with coronavirus? Or, are they suffering from symptoms which include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath? If so, they should declare their status.

3. Implement hygiene procedures

Ensure that all employees have access to facilities to wash their hands and/or are using preventative products such as hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes or disinfectant spray to avoid spreading germs.

4. Minimize person-to-person contact

Consider opportunities to minimize person-to-person contact. For example, reschedule any non-essential, in-person meetings and gatherings where possible and limit the number of onsite visitors. If you are able to host virtual meetings using video conferencing tools, now is the time to do so. Staggering the times that field staff visit the office can also help your staff comply with social distancing requirements.

Illustration of people comparing charts and money on a large clock

5. Monitor the situation and direct employees accordingly

Continuously monitor the coronavirus situation and government advice to keep your procedures compliant with regulations. Make sure your staff are complying with the procedures you have put in place, and those of the worksites they are visiting.

6. Implement disciplinary action

For employees who do not take the above seriously or are breaching your policies, there should be direct consequences. Make sure your staff are aware that due to the significance of this situation, disciplinary action will be taken if your policies are violated.

Important resources

Keep up-to-date with the changing situation through reliable sources such as:

World Health Organization

On this site, you will find:

  • Situation reports
  • Advice on how to protect yourself
  • General worldwide information about COVID-19
  • Frequently asked questions and answers

Visit the site here.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Under their communities, schools and workplaces page, you will find:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting recommendations
  • Tips to protect employees’ health
  • Ways to reduce transmission among employees
  • Fact sheets and frequently asked questions

Visit the site here.

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

If you have a membership to SHRM, this is a good resource for HR COVID-19 advice:

  • COVID-19 employee screening procedures
  • Q&A with HR advisors
  • Remote work guidance and practices

Visit the site here.

Please note: The above information is general advice only. simPRO is not a medical or legal expert.

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