Safety tip of the week: planning for a safe reopening

Apr 30, 2020
Written by wpengine

Business owners are looking for the safest way to get back to business since the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Brick and mortar retailers that have remained open are keeping customers safe by limiting the number of shoppers allowed in the store, designating aisles for one-way traffic and placing partitions between customers and workers. As others prepare to reopen, they will need ways to ensure the safety of their employees as well.

Washington Labor and Industries and the Department of Health have issued several recommendations for dealing with COVID-19 in recent weeks. Among them are:

  • Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices or other work tools and equipment
  • Provide workers with hand soap, alcohol-based hand rubs with at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfectants and disposable towels to clean their work surfaces
  • Install check stand plexiglass barriers between cashier and customer
  • Have a plan for immediately isolating employees or customers who become sick in your workplace
  • Create additional ways for customers to get their purchases; this might mean adding drive-thrus or parking lot pick-up stations
  • Replace close face-to-face conversations internally as well as those with customers, clients and vendors with phone calls or other forms of communication as much as possible. Maintain social spacing.
  • Discontinue nonessential travel to locations with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks

It will take some planning time and we recommend that you begin gathering PPE supplies if you have not already done so. More information is posted on our website under the Prepare to Reopen section.

Rick Means is Washington Retail’s Director of Safety & Education. He is available to help businesses with drawing up safety plans and to suggest topic ideas for safety meetings. Reach him at 360-200-6454 or at [email protected].