As we enter the next leg of the COVID-19 pandemic, many business owners are beginning to wrestle with a crucial question: How to resume some semblance of normal operation while also keeping their employees safe?
For pumpers, installers, portable restroom operators and other trade services, these considerations may look a little different. After all, trade services have been considered “essential” throughout this pandemic, which means your workforce may never have been quarantined. As a business owner, you may be welcoming a few administrative employees back into the office; but by and large, your field employees have been working and risking coronavirus exposure in the process.
Still, it’s important to think about steps you can take to protect these employees, both in the near future and in the long run. Here are a few suggested safety guidelines to consider.
Provide the right safety gear
One way to promote hygiene, and to let your team members know that you’re looking out for them, is to make sure they have access to the right equipment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently recommending that masks and gloves be worn whenever possible. For employees who are out in the field, risking exposure to the virus, these precautions are crucial.
Share good information
There is a lot of conflicting information about how to live in a post-COVID-19 world. Stay on top of the latest updates from the CDC and OSHA, and pass along any pertinent guidelines to your team members. Specifically, make sure they know which symptoms they should look for, at what point they should stop coming in to work and how they can self-check for coronavirus symptoms.
Confirm health of returning employees
If you do have employees who are returning to work after being quarantined or furloughed, make sure they are healthy and haven’t been around anyone who they know to have COVID-19. It’s not unreasonable for you to ask them to take their temperature before returning to their duties. This is a small way you can avoid infection among your clients or your broader employee base.
Regularly disinfect common areas
Make sure there’s someone on your team who is tasked with wiping down tables, counters and chairs in any common areas, such as break rooms. This should be done routinely, throughout the day. Also ask employees to wipe down the inside of any company vehicles or shared/common equipment after use. Be sure to provide disinfecting products and wipes.
Promote social distancing
In the trade services, it’s not always possible for your employees to avoid close contact with other people. Sometimes their work may take them into other people’s homes. With that said, you can rearrange your office environment to allow administrative workers or dispatchers some space, and also encourage your field employees to maintain social distancing as best they can while in the field.
In a post-COVID-19 world, maintaining employee safety is more important than ever — and arguably more complicated, too. Follow these guidelines to head in the right direction.