There is no clarity on when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, but there is no doubt that enterprises have to restart operations and must do so by bringing health and safety to the forefront of office reopening plans. Health and safety leaders will have to drive a cultural shift – across the company – to deal with this pandemic effectively. Recently, we have released a whitepaper that analyzes the The Growing Significance and Evolving Dimensions of Health and Safety in the Post-Pandemic Era.
This blog is a short excerpt from this whitepaper.
New Best Practices to Ensure Employee Health and Safety in the Workplace
It is absolutely imperative to redesign procedures with a deep focus on employee health and safety. However just that is not enough. In today’s scenario, people are also dealing with varying levels of stress. It is critical to pay attention to the mental well-being of your staff, in addition to training and upskilling them for the future.
Here are some key factors for health and safety leaders to consider:
- Employee health and safety, without a doubt, should be the topmost priority. To maintain social distancing needs, prioritization of how many employees should return to work based on their role and criticality as well as managing the physical space to let them work while maintaining a distance will have to feature high on the list of to-dos for the business
- At the workplace, sanitization, as well as sufficient protection in the form of masks and PPE, will have to be made available
- Social distancing could lead to escalated costs. Given the requirement for physical distancing, the office layouts will have to be redrawn, thereby reducing the number of workstations/employees in a given area.
- Their commute to and from work and the use of facilities at the workplace such as cafeteria, gym, shower rooms and other amenities provided by the organization deserves a vital amount of consideration while determining H&S protocols.
- Monitoring employee health and handling any illnesses including isolation in case of infection and the implication for co-workers should be factored in
- Incident reporting and management will become even more critical to protect colleagues, and organizations must adopt a robust and effective incident reporting mechanism that is void of any leakages
- With these, there also arise concerns about discriminatory practices against a Covid-infected or recovering patient that need to be prevented through sensitization and other awareness programs
- Health and Safety heads are also trying to address the risk that remote working / working from home poses, helping employees identify those risks, making them aware of the potential hazards, monitoring, etc.
HR leaders are grappling with how to boost employee morale and productivity, as people are getting used to this new way of work and life. People in HR functions are focusing on the following aspects:
- Managing remote employees, their physical and mental health, and ensuring productivity
- Reskilling them to perform efficiently after a period of being away from work and working remotely
- Training them to work in the post-Covid-19 lockdown period with an enhanced safety mindset
This was an excerpt. Employee health and safety is only one of the 5 key touchpoints that Health & Safety leaders need to incorporate towards Workplace Safety in the post-pandemic era. Read our whitepaper to get our detailed analysis.