Mar 18, 2020

How is COVID-19 Impacting the Health & Safety of Your Staff?

Written by: Mark Bania (Co-Founder & CEO)

COVID-19 has impacted people all over the world in the last several weeks…

…the World Health Organization (WHO) recently named COVID-19 a Pandemic…

…the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends events of 50 people or more to be cancelled for 8 weeks…

…cities – such as San Francisco – or ordering residents to stay at home and only leave for “essential” reasons.

With all the confusion and uncertainty prevailing all major news outlets, there is a common theme that has risen from virtually all conversations around COVID-19 – it is no longer acceptable to believe that your wellbeing is not impacted by others around you.

How are Businesses Adapting

Health and safety of a businesses’ staff is always a top priority. With that, you have probably received some form of communication from your business around the new rules of engagement during this pandemic - heck, maybe you even helped write it!

Some businesses are eliminating all inter-company travel. Others are transitioning group meetings to virtual settings. Many have even moved to a mandatory work from home policy.

But what about the businesses that require staff members on site to operate? What about manufacturing, food & beverage, consumer packaging, healthcare, utilities…..the list goes on and on? What are reoccurring themes within policies from these businesses around COVID-19?

Social Distancing

COVID-19 can be transmitted from person-to-person (P2P) contact. Limiting person-to-person interaction through rotating shifts, limiting staff on site, and reducing group meetings can limit the spread of COVID-19 from one party to the next.

Personal Hygiene

One of the most effective ways to combat the spread of COVID-19 is to regularly and thoroughly wash your hands. Many organizations are enforcing more through personal hygiene processes, in addition to providing more readily available access to sanitization wipes and hand sanitizers in highly trafficked areas.

Equipment Sanitization

Sanitizing equipment that comes into contact with multiple individuals at a high frequency (think door handles, machine levers, elevator buttons, etc.) can also reduce the spread of COVID-19.

So why are you reading a post from Contractor Compliance on this topic? If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that WE’RE A GLOBAL COMMUNITY. What does this mean? Well, in simple terms, your SUPPLY CHAIN PARTICIPANTS (CONTRACTORS, SUPPLIERS & VENDORS) HAVE A BIG IMPACT THE HEALTH & SAFETY OF YOUR STAFF.

So, what are best practices around managing the impact a third party worker can create for your staff?

Rapid Communication is Key

Ensuring that you keep your supply chain participants up to date on your internal COVID-19 policies and procedures immediately is paramount. These potential visitors need to know what you are doing to minimize the health and safety risk of your team (and as an extension, these third parties).

Track Acceptance of your Policies & Procedures – For Everyone

It’s one thing to broadcast your new policies and procedures to your supply chain; it’s entirely another to ensure that they have been read and responded to. Perhaps you are tracking an acknowledgement that these visitors have not been in contact with a high risk area (we’re past the list of countries infected at this point – now organizations are looking to limit visits from those who have visited/plan to visit hospitals, retirement homes, etc.). Ensure that you have your bases covered, the same way you would for your staff.

Treat Them Like Your Own

Fundamentally, it’s about ensuring that all policies for your internal staff are extended to those who you bring in to mingle with your internal staff – it’s that simple…the health and safety of your teams depend on it.

For more resources from Contractor Compliance on how to manage third party risk, feel free to check out our Resource Centre for other great white papers and blog posts.

About the Author

Addison Moore
Director of Marketing at Contractor Compliance

Addison has spent the last four years learning from and participating in the Health & Safety community. He has travelled to numerous EHS conferences, trade shows and events with the intention of helping organizations with their contractor management programs. Addison is also responsible for curating the collection of white papers, case studies and eBooks that provide real world insights into the workforce safety space.

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