Common practices that reduce the risks for your staff and your business
We’re a little over 6 months into this life changing, world changing event and it is becoming clear that this will be our reality for at least another 6 months. A concerning second wave is hitting our major metropolitan areas, likely a result of the relaxing of restrictions put in place earlier this Spring. This recent spike is a clear demonstration that every citizen, every organization and every business has a vital role to play to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have compiled a list of tips to assist you as print-industry business leaders, in your efforts to keep up the important work of protecting your staff from the risks of exposure to this very serious and highly transmissable illness.
#1 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
The communication to your staff must keep up with the latest in recommendations and best practice established by your local health authorities. Frequent internal memos, clear signage and ongoing external communications (typically via your website) are all vital to ensure that your staff understand the health and safety precautions being taken by the business. In order to implement and enforce established workplace protocols, the internal and external communication must be clear, concise and frequent, to ensure clarity for all of your stakeholders. Err on the side of ‘over-communication’ rather than ‘under-communication’ for such an important issue; your staff will appreciate your efforts in providing clear and ongoing communications aimed at addressing any concerns they may have.
#2 – Don’t lose sight of the basics
We are all now clear on the basics of COVID-19 prevention but it is also a lack of adherence to these basics which are the source of the challenges. It is critical that staff from both office and manufacturing environments continue to practice social-distancing, regular hand-cleaning/sanitizing and mask-wearing, within the workplace. It is recommended that masks and sanitizer be made available to staff at all entrances to ensure that the right precautions are being taken at the beginning of every workday. Ensure you empower your managers, supervisors and team leads to regularly remind staff about the importance of these basic rules and ensure those who are in non-compliance are spoken to immediately. There should be zero-tolerance for non-compliance – this will ultimately be appreciated by your staff who typically are very mindful of the health and safety of their work environment.
#3 – Reduce the risks even further
There are effective ways to further mitigate the risks of exposure of COVID-19 within the workplace. Reduce a ‘bottleneck’ in hallways, locker rooms or bathrooms by staggering the start times within your production shifts and office environments. This reduces the amount of traffic within your facility which are often concentrated at specific times of the day. It is also strongly recommended to restrict movement within your facility to minimize face to face contact between staff members if feasible – transitioning to virtual communication as much as possible. Implementing a daily screening program which mandates health checks for each staff member (can be administered by a designated staff member or supervisors depending on the size of your business) who are asked to confirm that they are not experiencing symptoms and have not been in close contact with anyone showing symptoms. Regular checks with each staff member can be an effective way to reinforce the importance of following all COVID-19 safety protocols, each and every day.
#4 – Develop a COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan
Your business should be prepared with a plan should an active staff member test positive. Working closely with your local health authority and following their recommendations is most critical; as is the speed of your response and the timely communication with your staff. Note that an individual’s medical information is private and any contact tracing and follow-up communication is best left to the health professionals in the event of a confirmed positive case and possible additional infections. The primary focus is to ensure staff are informed and stay informed throughout the process and that workplace practices adjust in response to any heightened risks, following the recommendations of your local health authority.
We hope you have found this information useful and should you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to email the CPIA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe!