After weeks of home-home mandates, companies around the country quit, states are opening again and employers are preparing to reopen jobs that will look significantly different than they did in early March.
Employers want to know if they can take employees' temperatures or get customers to wear masks and seek answers to many other questions about safely bringing employees back to the workplace.
Experts answered these questions – yes, employers can control their workers' temperatures and, yes, facilities may require customers to wear masks – and more on Thursday during Business Insurance COVID-19 Webinar "Getting Back to work: Change, change and more change. "
Employers should take "a giant break right now" LLP. “The question will be … do we enough? I think it's just a brave new world right now. I do not know exactly where the law will be released. We do not have an analogous past experience to look at.
With the many legal uncertainties surrounding COVID-1
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has steadily issued guidance to help industries develop these plans, and employers include the implementation of these safety and health systems, he said. "It forces the employer to participate in a thought-provoking process every step of the way" and consider the workplace-specific technical and administrative changes that may need to be made.
A written plan can also help employers communicate the actions they take to protect workers and prevent employee fears, and the plan can also be used to avert legal and personal injury liability in the event of a safety complaint or lawsuit, Conn said.
"OSHA has no COVID-19 standard, but there is a general duty clause," he said. "If you do not meet the reasonable, workable standard, the responsibility awaits you."
A security management system can also help you identify who is an important worker in the workplace and must be in the office and identify potential risks, said Larry Pearlman, senior vice president of labor strategies at Marsh Risk Consulting.
"Don't forget what a day in life looks like for your employee," he said. "Make sure you look at the risk factors" where employees may be less than six feet apart, such as break rooms, smoking places, time clocks, entrances and elevators, said Mr. Pearlman.
A top concern for employers attending the webinar is the legality of assessing workers' health upon arrival at the workplace and conducting temperature checks.
In April, the United States Equality Committee for Equality released guidance that gave employers OK to control temperatures and ask symptom issues within certain parameters, Richmond said.
"You still can't keep records," she said. "And make sure you apply the policy across the board."
For employers with workers who are customer-oriented, the bigger question is how to protect these workers from guests.
"Anecdotally, up to 75% of guests who went into restaurants last week did not wear any type of mask or gloves," Richmond said. "We see that employees are particularly nervous. They want protection in place. You have the right to say (to customers), & # 39; You cannot come in unless you wear X, Y or Z. & # 39; "
Employers should also ensure that they effectively communicate these security policies and procedures.  "I think there's an incredible amount of anxiety out there," Conn said. "Don't dismiss your employee's concerns. Take them seriously, because if you don't, you will go down that rabbit hole with complaints to OSHA and lawsuits."
Louise Esola, assistant editor of Business Insurance moderated the webinar.
A recording of the full webinar is available here . ] here .