Foster Park experts offer best practices for reopening workplaces

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With COVID-19, workplaces were forced to quickly adapt to a new reality and ground rules for keeping employees, customers and the general public safe from an outside threat. Now, as organizations begin to consider how they will transition their workers back into the workplace, leaders will need to thoughtfully structure how they will keep their employees safe against the invisible viral enemy represented by COVID-19.

At Foster Park, we would like to share some tips and best practices for employers to consider when developing their return-to-work plan. Our goal is to support your preparation for the attack that COVID-19 has waged on your company’s health security. We continue to rely on the expert guidance from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and local government directives. From a risk-management perspective — as well as being the right thing to do — employers are going to want to take every precaution to ensure that they’re not exposing their workers to unnecessary risks when they return to work.

The foundation of any organization’s return-to-work plan won’t be testing — it will be social distancing. It’s going to be making sure that you have adequate social distancing in place — that you’ve thought it through and planned it out, that there is very aggressive personal hygiene being encouraged, and that personal protective equipment, to the degree that it’s appropriate and available, is being used.

Although every employer would like the quick answer of a testing solution (either by temperatures or antibody tests), that piece of a potential strategy is still quickly evolving. You can certainly ask your employees as they’re coming to work whether they’ve experienced any of these symptoms or whether they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID. And in fact if they have, or do, then you’re permitted to send them home. As always, keep an eye on the guidance from the Chief Medical Officer.

Chief Medical Officer Updates The Alberta Government continues to monitor and control ongoing developments with respect to COVID 19. As we move towards safely and responsibly reopening businesses and other critical institutions, we encourage you to access their updates.

• https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-information.aspx

• https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-workplace-guidance-for-business-owners.pdf

Together we can responsibly continue to flatten the curve and truly eradicate the virus.