What policies can employers implement to enforce social distancing?

The CDC, OSHA, and other federal governmental agencies have been hesitant to issue any strict laws or regulations regarding exactly how people should practice social distancing. They have, however, issued many recommendations and guidelines for social distancing and other practices that can be taken to limit the spread of COVID-19. As a business owner or manager, taking these guidelines and making them mandatory policies in your workplace is very important. Each business is unique, but the following policies may be appropriate in many situations:

  • Social Distancing No ElevatorsUpdated Sick Time Policies – Requiring employees to call in sick if they exhibit any coronavirus symptoms is essential. Many businesses are even expanding their sick pay options and eliminating any repercussions for using sick time.
  • Cancelling In-Person Meetings – All meetings should be conducted either via a phone call or video conference to prevent people from gathering in one place.
  • Closing Lunch & Break Areas – Closing down lunch and break areas will help keep people from gathering together. Meals and breaks can either be taken at their desks, in their cars, or other locations where they can remain isolated.
  • No Unnecessary Deliveries – Do not allow people to order in food, purchase unnecessary supplies, or do anything else that will require non-essential people to come into the facility. Every person who enters is a potential carrier of the virus.
  • One Person Per Elevator – Where practical, limit elevator rides to one person per trip. Elevators are enclosed areas where the virus can be easily spread because it is impossible to stay six feet away from each other.

In addition to social distancing, proper cleaning and sanitization in the facility is important. Keeping the workplace as clean as possible is a key method to kill the COVID-19 virus. Using anti-viral cleaning products is essential. Assigning people to wipe down common touch points multiple times per day is a policy that will improve workplace safety during this pandemic.

 

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