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Risk Assessment

Monitor federal, state, and local public health communications about COVID-19.

  • Ensure workers have access to current information.

  • Check local public health information and the CDC COVID-19 website daily, or as needed depending on local conditions.

Reinforce how employees can protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by communicating the following:

  • If you have symptoms, notify your supervisor and stay home.

  • If you are sick, follow CDC-recommended steps, and do not return to work until you meet criteria to discontinue home isolation.

  • If you are well, but have someone in your household who has COVID-19, notify your supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or inside of the elbow when coughing or sneezing, immediately throw tissue in trash, then wash hands.

  • Develop a cleaning and disinfecting plan.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at the beginning and end of each shift.

  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. Clean and disinfect between employees if sharing occurs.

  • Avoid large gatherings, and stay at least 6 feet from others when possible.

  • Use cloth face coverings (if appropriate) when social distancing is not possible, and especially in areas of with high levels of cases.

Plan for conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks (e.g., symptom and/or temperature screening) before employees enter the facility:

  • Use social distancing (about 6 feet distance), barriers or partitions, and/or personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect screeners.

  • If taking temperatures, use touchless thermometers.

  • Consider providing multiple screening entries.

  • Consider designating doorways as “entry only” or “exit only.”

  • Make employee health screenings as private as possible.

  • Do not determine risk based on race or country of origin; be sure to maintain confidentiality of each individual’s medical status and history.

Conduct a hazard assessment of the workplace.

  • Identify potential hazards that might expose workers to COVID-19.

  • Use the Worker Protection Tool to identify appropriate engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment (PPE) options for your workplace.

Plan for what to do if an employee is sick at work.

  • Immediately separate employees who appear to have symptoms from others in the workplace.

  • Have a procedure for safe transport of a sick employee to home or a healthcare facility.

Develop an action plan for suspected/confirmed cases.

  • If it has been fewer than 7 days since the sick employee has been in the facility:

  • - Close off areas that have been used by the sick person for long periods of time (e.g., their desk or workstation).

  • - Wait 24 hours (or as long as possible), then clean and disinfect the area.

  • - Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation during the waiting period.

  • If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection beyond routine efforts is not necessary.

  • Determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and may need to take additional precautions:

  • - Inform employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality.

  • - Most workplaces can follow the Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure.

  • - Critical infrastructure workplaces can follow appropriate safety practices.

2. Maintain healthy business operations

Identify a coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact at the workplace.

  • Inform employees who this person is and how to communicate with that person.

Implement sick leave policies and practices that are flexible and supportive.

  • Ensure sick leave policies and practices are consistent with public health guidance, follow state and federal workplace laws and policies, and are shared with employees.

  • Allow employees to stay home, without penalty, to care for a sick family member or take care of children due to closures.

  • If you do not offer sick leave, consider implementing non-punishing “emergency sick leave” policies.

  • Do not require a COVID-19 test result or a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or to return to work.

Protect higher risk employees.

  • Support and encourage telework, if available.

  • Consider offering vulnerable workers duties that minimize their contact with customers and other employees (e.g., restocking shelves).

Communicate supportive workplace policies. You may need to communicate with non-English speakers in their preferred languages.

  • Train workers on how new policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 may affect existing health and safety practices.

  • Communicate to contractors or on-site visitors about changes to help control the spread of COVID-19.

  • Create and test communication systems that employees can use to self-report if they are sick that you can also use to notify employees of exposures and closures.

Assess essential functions and the reliance that others have on your services or products.

  • Prepare to change your business practices, if needed, to maintain critical operations.

  • Identify alternate supply chains for critical goods/services.

  • When resuming onsite business operations, prioritize job functions for continuous operations. Resume business operations in phases.

Plan for employee absenteeism spikes.

  • Monitor absenteeism at work.

  • Implement plans to continue essential business functions.

  • Cross-train employees to perform essential functions.

Establish social distancing policies and practices.

  • Implement flexible worksites, work hours, and meeting and travel options.

  • Modify the workplace to increase physical space between employees, and between employees and customers, to 6 feet or more, where feasible.

  • Use signs, tape marks, or other visual cues to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible.

  • Have employees and customers wear cloth face coverings (if appropriate) when physical barriers or social distancing is not possible.

  • Discourage handshaking or other close contact.

  • Deliver services remotely.

  • Move the electronic payment terminal/credit card reader farther away from the cashier, if possible.

  • Shift primary stocking activities to off-peak or after hours, when possible.

  • Delegate authority to local managers of your business locations to take appropriate actions outlined in their COVID-19 response plans based on their local conditions.

3. Maintain a healthy work environment

Implement controls according to the hierarchy of controls to protect employees and the public.

  • Use the Worker Protection Tool to identify appropriate engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment (PPE) options for your workplace.

Modify ventilation systems

  • Work with building maintenance staff to determine if the ventilation system can be modified to increase ventilation rates or the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system.

  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality.

  • Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).

  • Further open minimum outdoor air dampers (as high as 100%) to reduce or eliminate recirculation.

  • Improve central air filtration to MERV-13, or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass.

Ensure the safety of the water system of your building after a prolonged shutdown.

  • Follow the CDC Guidance for Building Water Systems.

Supply employees, customers, and visitors with what they need to clean hands and cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, and touchless hand sanitizer stations.

  • Provide soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

  • Direct employees to visit CDC’s coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage.

  • Place posters that encourage cough/sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene at the entrance to and throughout your workplace (e.g., bathrooms and kitchens). Include signs for non-English speakers, as needed.

Perform routine cleaning and disinfecting.

  • Follow CDC’s Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting to develop, implement, and maintain a plan.

  • Clean all frequently touched surfaces at the beginning and end of each shift, at minimum.

  • Clean dirty surfaces using a detergent or soap and water before you disinfect them.

  • Disinfect using EPA-registered disinfectant that is effective against SARS-CoV-2.

  • Provide disposable disinfecting wipes so employees can wipe down commonly used surfaces before each use.

  • Store and use disinfectants in a responsible and appropriate manner according to the label.

  • Do not mix cleaning and disinfection products together.

  • Advise employees to always wear gloves and other PPE appropriate for the chemicals being used.

Limit travel and advise employees who must travel to take additional precautions and preparations.

  • Minimize non-essential travel.

  • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices.

  • Advise employees to check for symptoms of COVID-19 before travel.

  • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment know what to do, including:

  • - Call a healthcare provider for advice, if needed.

  • Notify their supervisor.

  • - Follow company policy for obtaining medical care when traveling outside the United States

Plan meetings and gatherings to lower risk.

  • Use videoconferencing or teleconferencing, when possible.

  • Cancel, adjust, or postpone large work-related meetings or gatherings.

  • When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not possible:

  • - Hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.

  • - Continue to maintain 6 feet between people.

  • Wear cloth face coverings (if appropriate).

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The templates available in our Public Library have been created by our customers and employees to help get you started using SafetyCulture's solutions. The templates are intended to be used as hypothetical examples only and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. You should seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of a template is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction. You should independently determine whether the template is suitable for your circumstances.