Safety Services Company
April 17th 2020
At this point, even if you are living under a
rock, you surely have felt and experienced the global crisis that is COVID-19.
There are regions wherein lockdowns and shelter-in-place have been enacted. In
most areas, businesses have shut down or transitioned their operations to a
Unfortunately, not all companies can afford to completely shut down nor can they adapt to a work-from-home arrangement. If yours is one of those businesses, making sure that you are familiar with relevant information regarding reporting COVID-19 procedures is imperative.
As a business owner, one of your
responsibilities is to keep your employees safe, especially during a pandemic.
We understand that it could be stressful. The information below can help you
navigate through the process of reporting COVID-19 cases:
These symptoms can vary from person to person.
In fact, there are individuals who are asymptomatic. Nevertheless, below are a
few of the most common signs that a person has been infected by COVID-19:
Less frequent symptoms may include:
The symptoms of COVID-19 affect everyone
differently and the severity can range from no symptoms to severe. Symptoms can
appear 2-14 days after an individual has been infected.
if you have any of the more serious symptoms
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) direction
is to self-report to a healthcare facility immediately.
For your own health and the community at
large, you are encouraged to contact your healthcare provider if you are
feeling sick and have developed COVID-19 symptoms.
As an employer, if you suspect that an
employee was infected at the workplace, you are required to record the incident,
informing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). There are three
requirements that need to be met for this:
1) if the case is confirmed
2) if the case is work-related
3) if it meets the recording criteria of
medical care beyond first aid
The CDC recommends to employers that
symptomatic employees should be sent home.
One of the most concerning things about COVID-19 is that it does not choose its victim. No one is safe. In the unfortunate case that one of your employees tests positive for COVID-19, below are the steps that you should follow:
Self-quarantine is one of the best ways to
contain the spread of the coronavirus. If your worker shows up to work with
symptoms of COVID-19, send them home immediately and ask them to quarantine for
at least 14 days.
On employee Return-To-Work (RTW), the CDC has
two guidelines to follow on discontinuation of home isolation: a
time-since-illness-onset verses a time-since-recovery strategy.
If the employee has access to testing options, they should get tested. Once they have completed one of these three options, then they may be evaluated for coming back to work.
While the infected employee is in quarantine,
make sure to keep the lines of communication open.
If an employee
is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, employers should inform fellow
employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain
confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The
employer should instruct fellow employees about how to proceed based on the
CDC Public Health Recommendations for
As a business owner, your task is to take
control of the narrative. As soon as all the possibly affected individuals are
informed and instructed, explain the circumstances to the rest of the company.
During this time, make it clear that the CDC
guidance on workplace exposure is being followed. Follow HIPAA confidentiality.
Do not disclose who the affected party is and make sure your employees
understand they can reach out to you or the HR team in case they have any
It is not necessary for all operations to shut
down when an employee tests positive for COVID-19. However, if the breadth of
exposure is considerable, it might be best to migrate to virtual operations if
Nevertheless, following the confirmation of a
positive case, the immediate area in which the patient has been encountered should
be disinfected. The CDC has come up with guidelines on how to make disinfection
There is no denying how COVID-19 would change
the way the world works. This statement rings true especially for safety guidelines imposed in the workplace.
Contact Safety Services Company today to ensure that your company keeps up with