WORKPLACE SAFETY WITH COVID-19

Workplaces have changed drastically in the last few months. Each company has had to assess the
workplace and determine how it will modify to mitigate coronavirus risks. Some companies are
choosing to split the workforce into shifts to limit the number of people in the building at one time.
Others are allowing their employees to work from home when possible. Some are rotating who is in the
office on any given day or week. All companies are looking at workstations to determine how best to
ensure the safety of employees.

While a lot has changed over the past 5 months, we must stay focused on the constants. Maintaining a
healthy environment for employees is definitely at the top of the list of priorities for companies.
Companies need to be aware that the efforts they take to ensure workplace safety will impact the types
of candidates they attract, their turnover rate, as well as the productivity of their employees.
Often a cost/benefit analysis is used to determine the viability of proposed changes to the workplace.
Included in the benefits must be turnover costs if employees do not feel safe, increased labor
costs/overtime for well employees when an employee needs to be out due to quarantine or illness.

Another cost to consider is loss of productivity. An employee who is stressed about the risk of exposure
in the workplace will be less productive than an employee who feels safe in their environment.
Some employers are reluctant to fully, or even partially, embrace a remote workforce model. In some
industries, it is simply not effective. However, if your industry supports a remote workforce model, it
could be an excellent way for you to boost morale and show your concern for the individual’s health and
safety.

Safety is a huge concern not only for companies but for employees. COVID-19 has created such a huge
shift in thinking, and it is critical that companies communicate well about policies and procedures that
are being put in place to support the health and safety of employees.


By: Millie Springer
Director of Human Resources

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