COVID-19 Information & Fall Plans

Working in a Coronavirus World

CBI Health & Safety at NCC can help prepare your organization for the new way of working.

Tom Barnowski, Director, Corporate & Public Safety,

As we continue to navigate the new normal of a global pandemic, we are recognizing that the way we work will be significantly altered for the foreseeable future. These changes include how we clean and disinfect our workplaces, how our employees interact with each other, and our ongoing business continuity efforts. These challenges along with others are certainly daunting. Some considerations are listed below as you grapple with our new normal.

 Cleaning Workplaces (Disinfecting & Sanitizing Protocols)

Companies will need to adopt a rigorous cleaning protocol, adhering to CDC Recommendations that are thorough and transparent to employees. Leaders will need to reinforce behaviors and supervisors will need to implement a host of new requirements around management of cleaning, disinfection, and inspection.

 Employee Interaction & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

This may be the starkest change to the way we work. Gone are the days of large meetings and sharing of office supplies. Most employees will be meeting virtually and when they are in the office, will have to adhere to stringent safety guidelines to minimize exposure and spread of the virus. One of the biggest changes comes in the form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). While face masks/coverings are required throughout the Commonwealth, additional forms of PPE may also be required at your facility including gloves, gowns and respirators. Workers required to use PPE must be trained. According to OSHA this training includes when to use PPE; what PPE is necessary; how to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE; how to properly dispose of or disinfect, inspect for damage, and maintain PPE; and the limitations of PPE. These procedures will need to be clearly defined and communicated, with expectations established for employee accountability.

 Preparation

COVID-19 has reinforced the value of being prepared. Organizations that had emergency action plans, which included a pandemic or crisis aspect, were able to weather the early days of this pandemic in a more focused and deliberate manner. They were able to reap the benefits of advanced planning including business continuity which minimized their losses. The logistical aspects and supply chain interruptions, while challenging, were for the most part managed. The benefits of this preparedness can be clearly demonstrated. Even in the middle of this pandemic, it is not too late to incorporate crisis and pandemic planning into your action plans. Sages of the past knew that if you failed to plan; you should plan to fail.

 Finally, I would like to share two resources from OSHA:

Workplace COVID-19 Resources 
Guidance on Returning to Work

Both of these publications provide valuable information.

The Center for Business and Industry (CBI) Health & Safety can help your organization prepare for this new way of working. Not only can we provide consulting services, but we can develop  and implement training on numerous platforms to achieve your safety goals.

To learn more, please visit northampton.edu/CorporateSafety or email safety@northampton.edu.