By Debra Spamer, vice president of business development of Company Nurse LLC
“What are you doing to keep us safe?”
It’s a question you most likely hear every day – from employees, visitors, customers, and vendors. Anyone returning to your workplace (or preparing to) wants to know the measures you are putting in place to protect them from exposure to COVID-19.
Take a cue from the many organizations who have implemented a COVID-19 Digital Screening solution for everyone who enters the workplace to comply with evolving CDC and OSHA guidelines; to protect the health of your employees, customers, visitors, and vendors; to provide your employees with access to nurse consultation; and for the reporting you need to document and assist with contact tracing.
Each day, there are new stories on employers not properly addressing COVID-19 in the workplace. One high-profile example is a McDonald’s in Oakland, California that reportedly insisted sick employees to come to work, infecting others and leading the workers to file suit against the restaurant.
While your organization is likely encouraging sick employees to stay home, some may continue to report to work. You should monitor all employees daily for COVID-19 symptoms, per CDC guidelines, to help protect your employees, your organization, and your brand.
With an automated solution, you can screen anyone for symptoms of COVID-19, before they enter your workplace, with evolving, up-to-date CDC guidelines, with little effort on your part.
Please remember, you should consult with legal counsel when implementing a screening process.
Protect the Health of Everyone Who Enters the Workplace
OSHA requires that employers must “furnish to each worker employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” With the right COVID screening solution, you can screen everyone who enters the workplace, including employees, customers, visitors, and vendors. And when everyone who enters your workplace is screened, you are helping to protect your entire workforce and workplace.
There are screening solutions or apps available with easy and inclusive access. Your employees may be reluctant to download an employer-sanctioned app for fear of being “tracked.” Other tools are available via a link — meaning anyone can screen for symptoms of COVID-19, as long as they have access to an internet browser.
Some of your workers and visitors, may be more comfortable using a COVID screening tool in Spanish, so look for a tool with localization to increase participation.
Look to the Experts
Use a screening solution that is consistent with the most up-to-date CDC guidelines, so that you can stay compliant with their monitoring guidance.
If a user indicates symptoms of COVID-19, they should be given further instructions to care, based upon guidance as well as your directives.
For your employees, you have the option to enable nurse triage services. This means that employees who indicate they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can receive consultations from expert nurses.
Perhaps their symptoms are just allergies. Or they could be indicative of something more serious, like COVID-19. A triage nurse will be able to make the distinction and guide your employees to the care they need.
Due to this pandemic, OSHA recently updated guidance to indicate that “COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and thus employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19.”
A screening solution with reporting provides you with an automated process to help stay compliant.
Reports from your screening solution also allow you to keep track of screening results and take action, when needed, to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
Please note, you should keep screening records separate from employee files.
Company Nurse offers COVID-19 Digital Screening and Triage Guidance to help you maintain a healthy work environment and to help you protect your employees’ safety and your organization from potential litigation.
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