As COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted across the Atlantic Provinces, businesses are now challenged with reopening under new public health conditions.

For many business owners, COVID-19 has reshaped businesses practices. Countless businesses have had to cut back or ramp up staff, change protocols and procedures, move to an online platform, or delay opening. 

While the thought of reopening under these new public health guidelines can seem overwhelming, having an tailored COVID-19 operational plan gives you the confidence to move your business forward knowing you are addressing the safety of your staff and customers. 

Restoring the confidence of your staff and customers will ultimately restore productivity and move your business forward to where you want it to be. 

Although every business is unique, it is important to start with a thorough hazard assessment of your physical space while also considering how people work and move within your space. For example, in an office setting, a business will need to identify how many people can safely move around the office, where groups may congregate, what the high touch surfaces are, and how you will interact with your customers. 

From the information gathered in the hazard assessment, controls should be implemented to reduce the risk of transmission and, ultimately form your COVID-19 operational plan for reopening. The key thing to remember is your business’s communication strategy as you introduce the controls of the operational plan including new workflows, increased cleaning routines, and also when you begin to relax restrictions. 

Communication with staff and customers on what your new company practices are is critical to your company’s success throughout this transition. 

Additional plan considerations include: staff self-monitoring for potential symptoms prior to arriving at work; analyzing what equipment or controls may now be necessary to reduce risk of transmissions (plexiglass barriers, larger worker spaces, reduced seating options in communal area); and, ensuring business have a response plan if an employee contracts COVID-19 or has come in contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

Whether it's providing advice on how and when to bring back your labour force, setting up social distancing measures within the workspace or writing a new occupational health and safety policy, we’re here to make sure you succeed. The HR consulting team at Integrated Staffing will help you navigate the government-mandated health and safety guidelines, anticipate employee rights claims, and help you enforce new policies. 

To find out more about implementing a COVID-19 operational plan for your company, please contact the Integrated Staffing branch closest to you.