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 Safety & Risk Management How to Keep Employees Safe
Amid COVID-19
by Morgan P. Mahoney
Morgan P. Mahoney is an Assistant Vice President in CCIG’s Commercial Lines department. Reach him at or at 720-330-7926. You can also connect with Morgan via LinkedIn.
 Masks, social distancing, temperature checks, cleaning and sanitizing. If you’re a business owner, you’ve hopefully already taken these measures into account as part of your reopening plans amid COVID-19. But there’s still bound
to be a mix of apprehension and unease among your employees, right?
With that in mind, here are four things to help make the return to work safer (and saner) for the rank-and-file.
1. Hold a COVID boot camp when you return to the office.
You’ve no doubt come up with a list of new policies. Make sure everyone’s on the same page. A boot camp led by someone from the C-Suite sends the right message that you’re committed to keeping folks out of harm’s way.
Instructing people on new safety behaviors isn’t as good as going through the actual motions. As awkward as it might feel, walk your people through each new safety protocol. It’s the best way to ensure these new practices are incorporated into daily office life and that everyone feels comfortable following them.
2. Have a plan to handle visitors and share it with employees.
Whether we’re talking about delivery people or clients, you don’t want folks walking into your business without notice. You’ll need some kind of protocol. Perhaps it’s a call to the reception desk first. And perhaps it includes escorting guests along a specific route through your office where there are fewer employees stationed.
It also might be appropriate to have signage outside of the building advising visitors not to enter if they’ve experienced COVID-19 symptoms recently or been in contact with someone who has been infected.
Whatever you decide, some kinds of controls are definitely in order.
3. Be prepared to handle illness among your employees.
When an employee notifies you that he or she is sick with COVID-19, respond calmly and reassure the employee |
that their identity will remain confidential. You’ll need to ask the employee some potentially difficult questions, including whom they’ve been in contact with in the last two weeks.
Obtaining this information is essential so that you can directly notify customers and other employees who may have been directly exposed to COVID-19. If feasible, allow employees who may have been exposed to self- quarantine at home for 14 days.
Just as crucially, make sure you communicate how you’ll deal with an employee illness to everyone on staff before you actually have to confront the problem.
4. Do more to ease your employees’ fears.
Your workers are looking for guidance wherever they can find it. Employers can help calm some of their employees’ fears by reassuring them of their value to the company and the company’s desire to keep them as members of the team. Also:
• Be open with employees about management decisions and ask for suggestions to rectify problems.
• Highlight employee benefits that employees might not know about to relieve any financial stress.
• Encourage employees to take advantage of any telemental health services to preserve their mental well-being.
• Communicate the future of the business with employees often — in meetings, on the company intranet site, in newsletters and in blogs.
• Be empathetic in your communications, as every employee’s situation may be different.
CCIG is a Denver-area insurance, employee benefits and surety brokerage with clients nationwide. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We help you manage your long-term cost of insurance with
our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to
service excellence.
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