Specific Steps to Take When an Employee Gets Covid-19 | September 2020 Newsletter
Employers should identify a workplace coordinator to be responsible for all Covid-19 issues.
When an employee tests positive for Covid-19, there are a few steps you must take to protect yourself and others in your company.
Send the employee home! He or she must quarantine for 10 days and seek a healthcare provider, even if no symptoms exist. And someone should notify public health authorities.
Vacate said employee’s work space and clean! Clean and sanitize recently used areas with 1/3 cup of bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water, or use approved cleaning products. The person doing the cleaning should be supplied with appropriate personal protection equipment, such as gloves and masks, according to the CDC.
OSHA requires employers to obtain safety data sheets for the cleaning materials used and make them available to employees.
Notify potentially-exposed co-workers without divulging the sick employee’s identity. The CDC has determined that Covid-19 exposure risk begins when someone is within 6 feet of the infected person for 15 minutes or more. Infected people can spread the virus 48 hours before the onset of symptoms.
The CDC advised employers not to require a follow-up, negative Covid-19 test before returning to work. Instead, they should follow these guidelines:
With no symptoms – they can end quarantine after 10 days.
Mild to moderate symptoms – can end quarantine after 10 days if there’s no fever for 24 hours & other symptoms have improved.
Severe symptoms – must quarantine for 20 days or longer.
Be sure to record all work-related employee Covid-19 cases on the OSHA 300 log. However, OSHA stated in May that a case should not be declared work-related if there is an alternative explanation for how the employee contracted the virus.
Always check state health and safety laws for any variations required.
In the unlikely event that an employee contracts Covid-19 at work and is hospitalized or dies within 24 hours, that case must be reported to OSHA immediately.
Last month I recommended that leaders and employees must be tolerant and calmly anticipate that positive COVID 19 tests will occur that will
disrupt the workforce. This month I want to caution leaders to be ethically and legally prepared to address employees’ push-back related to their
COVID 19 fears or charges that the company isn’t practicing sufficient safety. To emphasize this concern, recently a lawsuit has been filed in Florida’s federal court; more information is available in this link:
• Benefit plans are likely to change dramatically in 2021, especially in companies hit hard by the pandemic. With many employees switching to working from home, a benefits consultant could help companies navigate the changes.
• Artificial Intelligence algorithms are transforming a range of HR practices, from recruitment to engagement to people management. Augmented analytics also enables employers to gain actionable insights about employees to make more informed HR decisions.
To recruit and retain the right people, HR leaders will use social networking, new cognitive technologies, and big data. The use of videos (like HireVue), online forms, and Skype interviews will speed up recruitment and reduce costs.