Prioritizing Return-to-work Safety

The National Safety Council (NSC) has announced SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returnsa comprehensive, multifaceted effort to guide employers through the process of safely resuming traditional work and operations now and in a post-pandemic environment.

Created in partnership with Fortune 500 companies, leading safety organizations, and public health professionals and experts, the center of SAFER is the formation of the first national task force focused on worker safety.

The task force will issue recommendations and develop guidance for employers, including small and mid-size companies, as they navigate the changed work environment and determine the most critical needs to ensure the safety of their workers.

SAFER will also:

  • Identify complexities with re-engaging the workforce, including contractors, by partnering with human resources, legal, labor, health care, and workers compensation providers; and
  • Develop general and sector-specific playbooks for America’s businesses to help them align worker safety with business objectives.

Employers should follow specific guidelines when re-opening offices, such as:

  • Preparing the workplace;
  • Preparing the workforce;
  • Control access;
  • Physical distancing plan;
  • Reduce touchpoints and increase cleaning; and
  • Communicate for confidence.

Entrance screening is an important factor for employees returning to work after the pandemic isolation.

Although an individual may have already completed the at-home questionnaire, screeners should ask the following questions on site:

1. Are you experiencing shortness of breath, fever, or cough?

2. Within the last 14 days, have you come in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

3. Is there someone in your home who has been told they may have COVID-19 and is currently in isolation?

4. Have you traveled anywhere outside the 50 United States in the past 14 days?

5. Have you been directed by a health care provider to quarantine or self-isolate? If so, when does/did your quarantine/self-isolation end?

A “yes” answer to any of these questions should be considered a failed screening.