7 Safety Steps for a Healthy Workplace to Beat COVID-19
As the United States de-escalates from its COVID-19 lockdown, the project manager is likely to be in high demand. McKinsey Global Institute forecasts forecasts that the world economy ‘could be back on track by early 2021’. Around the world, trillions of dollars have been committed to saving livelihoods as well as savings lives.
This brings us to how to reopen the economy, and it’s clear that working practices will need to change. Your business will need protocols to ensure the safety of your employees. Among these employees are project managers, working on-site and meeting many people – from customers, to suppliers, to project teams, and end users.
What can you do to provide a safe environment in which project managers can work? Demonstrating you operate a safe workplace could be key to attracting the most talented project managers as you seek to restart stalled projects and take advantage of a bounce in the economy.
Procedures for When Remote Work Is Not the Answer in the Post-Lockdown World
It may be that your project managers can work remotely, if not permanently then at least part of the time. You’ll need to develop policies, processes and procedures that enable this to happen. However, there is likely to be many occasions when this is not practical or viable. Here are seven other strategies you should consider as critical to safety in the workplace in the post-lockdown world.
1. Screening of Medical Health Records
Employees who have underlying medical conditions will continue to be more at risk from COVID-19. Such conditions include (but are not limited to) diabetes, lung disease and heart disease.
While your employee records should indicate medical issues, they may be out of date or incorrect. Consider health checks, questionnaires, and lifestyle assessments to evaluate risks to individual employees – reassuring them that results will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Armed with this evidence, you can then develop appropriate policies for your staff.
2. Ensure Physical Distancing in the workplace
You may need to demarcate workstations with six-foot markers – the distance considered far enough to avoid potential infection by droplets when people cough or sneeze.
You will need to ensure that your organization’s workplace policies are updated to reflect new distancing rules in closed spaces. This will also include how you run team meetings – which may be limited in numbers.
3. Temperature Check and Monitor Employees
Employees’ and visitors’ temperatures should be checked as a standard practice, and employees’ temperatures should be monitored. You may need to take temperature readings multiple times each day. Infrared digital thermometers enable temperatures to be red from the forehead from around three centimeters.
This leads to what process to follow, should a high temperature or other COVID-19 symptoms become evident. A quarantine policy will need to be developed, and you’ll also need to consider the impact on other employees.
4. Provide PPE
COVID-19 is transmitted most easily where people are close to others: and this includes at work. Medical experts around the world are increasingly recommending that masks should be worn – predominantly to stop infected people passing on the infection.
You may also suggest gloves should be worn, though medial opinion suggests that regular hand washing is a more effective policy (as this helps to prevent transmission between surfaces).
5. Disinfect Daily
The latest research shows that droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough can remain on surfaces for days. To mitigate this risk, you should develop daily disinfection routines and mandatory health and hygiene policies for employees (for example, disinfecting hands when moving between departments or exiting and entering the building).
Work areas should be wiped down regularly, and employees should not share computers, keyboards, phones, and other equipment. You may also consider hiring an external cleaning company to ensure a once- or twice-a-week deep clean is conducted.
6. Reporting Protocols
You will also need to put in place polices and protocols for the reporting of symptoms. To do so, you will need to consider state and federal regulations and develop your protocols around these.
7. Advice and Enforcement
Finally, your employee manuals will need to be revised with your new health and safety rules and regulations. You’ll need to record that advice and provide training where necessary, and ensure that your employees know what they should do if they become symptomatic.
The New Normal for Project Management
Federal and state governments are keen to get the economy going again, but a successful restart is likely to depend on the actions of businesses and their employees. Project management will be a key area for businesses as they exit the lockdown.
If you shape your new normal to make your workplace safe for project managers and all your employees, you’ll retain more of your key employees and be more attractive to the most talented project managers – and that could give you a sizeable competitive advantage as the economy regains its poise.
To fill your project manager jobs with the most talented candidates, contact TotalTek.