As businesses are opening up offices around the country, decisions around how to keep employees safe and limit the spread of coronavirus must be made. While recommendations are continuously being updated, the CDC does recommend that employers conduct both daily in-person health checks before entering the office as well as virtual health checks when and where possible. As we enter a new year, health check policies should be clear and put in place. Here is a guide to help businesses create their employee health checks:
Before creating an employee health policy, business leaders should review state and local recommendations and requirements. For example, businesses in California are required to comply with the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. This states that “employers [must] ensure employees don’t enter the worksite if they have symptoms or have been exposed to the coronavirus.”
In Nevada, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are asking employers to conduct daily temperature checks as a precautionary matter. Regulations will vary by state, which is why employers must review them before making decisions on daily health checks.
By monitoring the potential risk COVID-19 may pose to employees while working in person, a daily employee health questionnaire that employees should answer truthfully can help protect everyone in the office. OSHA has created an example questionnaire that businesses can choose to adopt. “Yes” or “No” questions include:
1. Have you experienced any of the following symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 48 hours?
2. Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days?
3. Are you currently awaiting results from a COVID-19 test?
4. Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider (for example, a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other) in the past 10 days?
5. Have you been told that you are suspected to have COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider in the past 10 days?
Having employees take part in a daily employee health questionnaire is something that businesses may want to consider adopting as they create their employee health screening policy moving into 2022. Employees can complete these daily screenings online or answer to a health assessment professional before entering the office.
With many businesses adopting a hybrid work model, meaning employees work remotely and in the office on a more flexible schedule, determining who needs to have a daily health screening can be more complicated. With software programs like OfficeTogether, business leaders can quickly see who will be in the office each day and what meetings are taking place. From there, the employees expected to be in person can take care of their daily screening before entering the office. OfficeTogether also offers employee health checks via slack integration to help make screening seamless and automated.
In addition to symptom screening, health professionals have also encouraged daily temperature checks. Further, consider social distancing within the office where possible or the use of masks in high-traffic areas.
The one thing businesses must ensure is that their 2022 employee health screening process and policy are effectively and communicated to every one of their employees. That way, leaders can address any questions and concerns, and all team members will know exactly what is expected from them.