Finding ways to keep employees safe in the workplace is always a challenge. With the threat of the COVID-19 virus, this is more difficult than ever. Implementing the recommended social distancing policies will help to minimize the risk of employees passing the virus to each other, but what about when they need to interact with customers. As an employer you have much less control over what precautions a customer will take, so you need to do what you can from the employee side to minimize the risk. There are still things that you can do to help stay safe from COVID-19 when working with customers.
One of the most effective things that an employer can do is to install a physical barrier between where employees stand and where they interact with a customer. For example, if you have a cash register where customers check out, have a plexiglass barrier installed to help minimize risk. This can help to block the spread of virus from customers breathing, coughing, or sneezing.
Request they Wear Masks
Many companies are requesting that all customers wear masks while in their business. According to the CDC, wearing a mask can help to minimize the risk of spreading this virus. Some customers will be reluctant to wear a mask, so you need to decide how strict you want to be with this type of policy. Some businesses are making it a rule that if a customer won’t wear a mask, they will be asked to leave. Others make it just a suggestion or request. Managing your risk of the virus compared to the risk of alienating customers can be difficult.
No Touch Policy
Prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic just about every interaction with a customer would start with a handshake. Today, however, this is a practice that is highly discouraged by medical professionals. Making a no touch policy in the workplace will make it clear to customers that employees are not to shake hands, hug, or otherwise touch customers because they need to stay safe. Having it be an official policy will make it easier for everyone to follow.
- How should workplaces implement exposure controls?
- What can I tell my employees about reducing the spread of COVID-19 at work?
- How can transmission of COVID-19 between employees be reduced?
- How can employers best protect employees from exposure in the workplace?
- When should employees or visitors be excluded from the workplace?
- What are some basic protective measures against the new coronavirus?
- Do employers have a duty to prevent worker exposure to COVID-19 infection?
- Aside from cleaning, what can workplaces do to slow the spread of COVID-19?