How to Keep Employees Safe When Returning to Work


The pandemic forced many organizations to significantly adjust various aspects of their operations. For example, across numerous industries, companies that had previously required employees to work from their offices were forced to adopt remote work policies.

However, now that the pandemic is winding down, many such companies are encouraging employees to return to offices and work sites. Employers who have asked workers to no longer work from home must ensure that employees are safe when returning to the office. The following are several ways they can do so:

Encourage Hand Washing

This is a small step that can nevertheless have a significant impact on employee health. Although many people wash their hands fairly quickly after breaks at work, it’s important that they understand the major difference washing their hands for at least 20 seconds instead of a mere five can make. In bathrooms, employers should post signs encouraging thorough hand washing, and supervisors should let employees know they don’t need to rush back from their breaks after using the bathroom. Employees must feel comfortable spending a few extra seconds washing their hands instead of darting back to their desks.

Retrain Employees in Safety Procedures

Viruses and germs are by no means the only hazards that can pose a risk to employees returning to work at an office after working from home for several months. Because employees have become accustomed to working from home, they may not remember all the key safety processes and procedures they were trained in before the pandemic began. For example, employees might not remember precisely what to do and where to go when the fire alarm goes off.

Employers should not assume their workers remember everything that was taught to them in previous safety training sessions. It may be necessary for companies to organize these sessions once again when employees come back to work. This is particularly true in work environments that are more hazardous than typical offices.

Provide the Necessary Safety Equipment

Although many employers have asked employees to begin working from their offices again, many have also noticed that employees are reluctant to do so for various reasons. Thus, they need to identify ways to make the idea of returning to the office less unpleasant than it might currently be.

One way to achieve this goal is to equip employees with any safety equipment that may be relevant to their jobs. Even in an office setting, providing employees with masks, gloves, and other such items may at least address any concerns they have about potentially contracting an illness as a result of starting to work outside of their homes again. In jobs where safety equipment is essential, such as warehouse jobs, employers can also take this opportunity to reassess the quality of the equipment they currently provide workers with.

Unfortunately, even when these tips are applied, it’s possible to be harmed in the workplace for a number of reasons. If you’re ever injured at work, our Encino workers’ compensation lawyers at Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach are on hand to help you recover the compensation for which you may be eligible. Contact us online or call us at 818-609-7005 for more information.

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