During the current unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential that business owners prioritize protecting their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. Below are 3 things employers can do to ensure they are putting some of the necessary measures in place to not only prevent worker exposure but also avoid risks of employer liability to future litigation.

1. Assign a COVID Single Point of Contact

COVID-19 brings many new challenges into the workplace that can be difficult to respond to appropriately.  By having one trained individual who will be responsible for addressing COVID-19 related issues and their impact on your workplace you are able to centralize all issues and responses to ensure that they are handled as they should be.  This could include fielding employee questions and concerns; providing guidance to managers; ensuring preventative measures are being followed and swiftly handling COVID exposure instances consistent with current CDC guidance.

2. Maintain an Updated COVID Prevention & Exposure Policy

Every industry, worksite and workforce is different, but one thing they all have in common is the need to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. With that said, having a prevention and exposure policy that details the steps the employer is taking as well as how the employer will respond to instances where there are COVID positives or potential exposure situations is critical to maintaining a safe workplace consistent with OSHA and CDC guidelines.   As the pandemic evolves, employers should continue to monitor related developments and respond accordingly.

3. Promote Preventative Etiquette & Practices

Instituting and promoting general safety policies and rules is key to the fight against potential COVID-workplace exposure.  Ensuring employees are both educated on and held accountable for maintaining appropriate etiquette for coughing, sneezing, handwashing as well as standards for social distancing and appropriate face covering requirements is key.  Employer responsibilities should include performing routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces as well as providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer and/or wipes so that employees.