Reopening after COVID-19 shutdowns
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Best practices for protecting the health of employees and customers.
Businesses in Michigan are starting to re-open as restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 are eased. However, reopening is not as simple as turning the lights on and opening the doors. Business owners need to consider everything from the water that’s been sitting in their building’s pipes to legal liability. While there is no single source for best practices, we’ve rounded up resources to help you navigate reopening, including our own Return to Work resources that you can find here.
Water safety and reopening buildings
A report from Fast Company details how water sitting in pipes during COVID-19 shutdowns can pose health risks. Mold and Legionella (the cause of Legionnaire’s disease) are just two hazards. Even during shutdowns, building managers should keep water fresh by flushing the system. Follow the CDC’s guidance for reopening buildings after shutdown.
Cleaning & disinfecting
One key to keeping employees and customers safe is cleaning and disinfecting your workplace. The CDC advises a three-step approach: develop a plan, implement it and maintain it. Get more details.
Food providers & craft brewers
For restauranteurs, the Roadmap to Reopening (pictured) from the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association offers resources including checklists, monitoring charts, cleaning and disinfection guidelines, and more.
The Brewers Association has guidelines specific to beer producers.
Playbook for manufacturing
Ford Motor Company has made its Manufacturing Return to Work Playbook available, detailing safety protocols for their workforce. We like their priority #1: put people first.
Limit your liability
We are in unchartered waters with the coronavirus pandemic. Many business owners have questions about legal liability. The National Law Review covers legal considerations for reopening and advises businesses to stay informed and up-to-date on what other companies are doing.
Communication is key
It’s important to let people know what you’re doing to protect the health of employees and customers, as well as what you expect of customers.
The Harvard Gazette says, “…companies will need to clearly communicate and demonstrate that they have kept their customers, employees, and supply-chain partners safe during the shutdown, as well as what steps they’ve taken to operate safely. They also will be judged by the effect they have on their communities, both intended and unintended, and whether they take responsibility for any harm they may have caused, particularly when it comes to their workers.”
Use social media, your blog, email, on-site signs and personal communication to let people know what you’re doing to keep employees, customers and the public as safe as possible.
Do you have business banking questions? Contact our knowledgeable business development managers or call 800-991-2221. During the coronavirus confinement, we’re available online, by phone and by appointment at select offices equipped to maximize safety.
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