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What to Consider

Employee and Volunteer Health and Safety

Physical Distancing. Employees must observe strict social distancing of 6 feet while on the job. How will you increase physical space between staff members and/or volunteers? Are you able to offer flexible hours? Do you have the capacity to reduce the number of staff onsite at any given time? Do you have the capacity for staff to continue to telework?

Personal Protective Equipment. Employees must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others. In the case of retail cashiers, a translucent shield or “sneeze guard” is acceptable in lieu of a mask. Businesses and non-profit and government entities may require customers or clients to wear face coverings.

Health Checks. Prior to the commencement of each work shift, pre-screening and a health survey shall be required to verify each employee has no symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell).

Worker Cleanliness. Employees must have easy and frequent access to soap and water or hand sanitizer during duration of work, and handwashing or hand sanitization should be required frequently including before entering, and leaving, the work site.  

New Roles. What new roles or staff responsibilities will be required to ensure a safe environment (e.g. PPE supply management, training, temperature monitoring)? In Vermont, all operations shall designate a health officer on-site at every shift responsible for ensuring compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order, the Addenda and applicable ACCD Guidance.  This person shall have the authority to stop or modify activities to ensure work conforms with the mandatory health and safety requirements.

New Trainings. All employees, including those already working (except healthcare workers, first responders, and others already trained in infection control, personal protection/universal precautions), must complete, and employers must document, a training on mandatory health and safety requirements as provided by VOSHA, or another training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard. All businesses that have been closed for 7 or more days during the state of emergency must complete and keep on file a reopening and training plan (businesses with fewer than 10 employees at any physical location are not required to create such a plan, however, they must follow all other guidelines and employees must take the VOSHA training).

Disability Accommodations. Be sure that any new policies do not discriminate with respect to age, health conditions, and other factors, including those identified as risk factors for COVID-19.

Disinfecting Common Spaces. Do you have necessary cleaning supplies? Do you have “no touch” disposal areas for used cleaning items? All common spaces (when open) and equipment, including bathrooms, frequently touched surfaces and doors, tools and equipment, and vehicles must be cleaned regularly and, when possible, prior to transfer from one person to another, in accordance with CDC guidance. 

Air Flow. When working inside, open doors and windows to promote air flow to the greatest extent possible and limit the number of people occupying a single indoor space. 

Paid Sick Leave. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employees in the United States with COVID-19 should be paid sick leave by their employers. The U.S. Department of Labor poster regarding paid sick leave under the FFCRA should be posted for workers at the worksite. Click here to download the paid sick leave poster.

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