Prepare Your Workplace
Be prepared to react to local, state and federal directives and educate employees. Follow Governor Kemp’s executive order’s guidelines for minimum business operations.
- Screening and evaluating workers who exhibit signs of illness, such as a fever over 100.4 degrees, cough, or shortness of breath.
- Requiring workers who exhibit signs of illness to not report to work or to seek medical attention.
- Enhancing sanitation of the workplace as appropriate.
- Requiring hand washing or sanitation by workers at appropriate places within the business location.
- Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) as available and appropriate to the function and location of the worker within the business location.
- Prohibiting gatherings of workers during working hours.
- Permitting workers to take breaks and meals outside, in their office or personal workspace, or in such other areas where proper social distancing is attainable.
- Implementing teleworking for all possible workers.
- Implementing staggered shifts for all possible workers.
- Holding all meetings and conferences virtually, wherever possible.
- Delivering intangible services remotely wherever possible.
- Discouraging workers from using other workers′ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment.
- Prohibiting handshaking and another unnecessary person-to-person contact in the workplace.
- Placing notices that encourage hand hygiene at the entrance to the workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
- Suspending the use of Personal Identification Number (″PIN″) pads, PIN entry devices, electronic signature capture, and any other credit card receipt signature requirements to the extent such suspension is permitted by agreements with credit card companies and credit agencies.
- Enforcing social distancing of non-cohabitating persons while present on such entity′s leased or owned property.
- For retailers and service providers, providing for alternative points of sale outside of buildings, including curbside pick-up or delivery of products and/ or services if an alternative point of sale is permitted under Georgia law.
- Increasing physical space between workers and customers.
- Providing disinfectant and sanitation products for workers to clean their workspace, equipment, and tools.
- Increasing physical space between workers′ worksites to at least six (6) feet.
Additionally, businesses should develop their own practices to address specific issues:
Establish New Workplace Protocols:
- Implement work zones to reduce employee footprint onsite and keep teams separate to minimize possible contact.
- Revise existing policies for the comfort and safety of employees.
- Limit and control travel with new policies.
Establish Strict Health Safety Protocols:
- Individuals should take responsibility for cleaning their personal workstation.
- Provide sick employees time off and offer flexibility to care for children and ill family members.
- The CDC recommends temperature screenings of individuals before entering a work facility.
- The CDC is now recommending individuals wear masks in public places and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Many offices have regular cleaning crews, but all workplaces should coordinate extensive cleaning daily to limit potential spread.
Transportation: With already reduced routes for public transportation, providing ample public transportation that meets with social distancing requirements will be challenging. Staggered workdays and/or continued telework can reduce congestion at peak travel times.
Childcare: Currently, childcare is limited. As individuals return to work, childcare facilities will not be able to return to normal capacity and accommodate proper social distancing. Employers should offer flexible schedules and other support for families.
Implement Customer Interaction Guidelines:
- Develop procedures to limit customer-to-customer contact by spacing, occupancy restrictions, operational hours, etc.
- Develop operational changes that limit customer-to-product contact like providing gloves, bags, etc.
- Develop customer-to-employee protections like shields, guards and contact-less payment systems.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with warm water and soap and use hand sanitizer when soap is not available.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Disinfect surfaces frequently.
- Cover your face and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Utilize non-medical face coverings in public places in accordance with CDC guidance.
- Be smart. Do not go to work if you feel sick and follow direction of state and local health authorities.
For more information, read the CDC’s businesses and workplace guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
Industry-specific and reopening guidelines
To review the specific guidelines regarding Georgia’s COVID-19 business operations: https://www.georgia.org/covid19bizguide#guidelines
Sources: Governor Kemp’s Executive Order, Fisher Phillips, Georgia Chamber