When it comes to workplace health and safety, having preparedness plans in place for a variety of situations is crucial. 2020 was a detrimental year for many businesses, as we all continued to fight against the world’s latest pandemic–COVID-19. As vaccines emerge and employees continue to return to work, keeping people safe and slowing the spread of the virus is a top priority.
Some organizations did have a pandemic response plan in place that allowed them to continue to work on-site, but many did not. So the question remains–how do you prepare your employees and organization for a health crisis of this magnitude?
OnSite Health’s Nationwide Pandemic Response
At OnSite Health, we have experienced our fair share of pandemics and helping companies navigate health and safety protocols. From Ebola and Swine Flu to 2020’s COVID-19, we have prepared many organizations with a pandemic response plan to ensure that they are prepared to handle employee health, safety, and protocol set by the CDC and WHO.
Pandemic Response Team
The first step in a pandemic response plan is outlining who will be responsible for ensuring the organization is up to speed. OnSite Health will work alongside your team, understanding the roles and who will be involved. Once the team is in place, we will work with you and discuss the following:
- What employees are essential for continuing business operations? Do they need to be on-site or can they work remotely?
- Strategize and design workarounds in event of major supply chain disruptions or major employee absenteeism.
- Shut down procedure, when to contact employees and what steps should all employees take while in isolation. Businesses should also understand their finances if business has to be halted completely.
- Access to an on-site nurse to monitor workplace health
Taking Preventative Measures
Before governments enacted shutdowns to nonessential businesses, we worked with our clients to prepare their workplace to be safe by taking preventative measures in order to reduce the spread of the virus. These steps included:
- Promoting hand and respiratory hygiene.
- Frequent handwashing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Placing hand sanitizer, tissues, no-touch waste containers, and soap throughout the office.
- Provide PPE to employees such as face shields, masks, respirators, and appropriate eyewear.
- Practice social distancing
- For our clients that had the ability to work remotely, we recommended that they used telephone, video, and online meeting tools to conduct business as close to normal as possible.
- For the clients that could not stop business, we ensured that they were following social distancing guidelines including working 6 feet or more apart.
- Staff was encouraged to avoid common areas such as a break room and to have staggered lunches to reduce traffic.
- Workplace Sanitization by regularly cleaning workstations, equipment, and other surfaces.
- Screening and Testing
- Due to the severity of the virus, having COVID-19 symptom screenings for employees before work was a top priority in slowing the spread of the virus. Once screened by our team, employees who were healthy could proceed to work. If employees had COVID-19 symptoms they were given an on-site COVID-19 test and asked to quarantine until results were revealed.
Practicing Your Workplace Pandemic Response Plan
When it comes to navigating a pandemic, sharing your pandemic response plan is essential to ensure that everyone within your organization is on the same page. Your team will most likely have questions so running through the plan will allow everyone to understand their roles and functions. All suppliers, vendors, stakeholders, and your leadership team should be brought into the loop so that your pandemic response plan is successful.
Need Pandemic Response Support?
If your company is looking for on-site solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic for symptom monitoring, COVID-19 testing, antibody testing, case management, return to work management, pandemic related consulting, upcoming flu vaccinations, respirator fit testing, or creating a pandemic response plan, please contact us and we will promptly respond with an appropriate solution.