Skip to content

Blog Post

Concerned about staff’s health and safety at the workplace or working from home during the pandemic?

So are we. We are talking with our clients about what they’re doing to keep staff safe, as well as sharing our own knowledge. Below is what we’re doing at Haley & Aldrich. We hope it’s of help to you.

How can I keep staff healthy and safe when they must go to the workplace or job site?

  • First determine if the work is essential. Then prepare staff with appropriate hazard training. Like any safety hazard, COVID-19 risks must be recognized, assessed, and mitigated. We provided COVID-19 hazard awareness training to all Haley & Aldrich staff. We also developed decision charts for determining if work is essential and if it is safe to proceed.
  • Assess the risk at both task and project levels. We developed a COVID-19 addendum for our health and safety plans that our project managers use to identify risks and develop mitigation strategies. Project teams also review work tasks to incorporate appropriate controls through Job Hazard Analysis (JHA).
  • Provide information and guidance for general tasks and work situations. We created graphic guides for COVID-19 prevention, such as disinfecting offices and field trailers, field hygiene, travel safety, and what to do if you are sick.
  • Inform business partners and contractors on your sites of your expectations and policies. Our contractors are required to sign a self-declaration form that they understand our expectations and acknowledge they are currently free of COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Communicate daily to keep safety a priority when kicking off each new task. We host a kickoff meeting prior to starting or resuming work to review planned work and COVID-19 prevention measures. We enact our Stop Work Authority policy when new risks or concerns are discovered.
  • Check and adjust as conditions change. On a weekly basis our employees identify flaws and share feedback to improve our COVID-19 prevention and response programs.
  • Consider that a return to work will present its own hazards as employees re-enter the workplace and begin to interact with systems after a prolonged absence. Ensure you understand what was done to put the site and systems into a safe state for the shutdown and what now must be done to return each system to a safe operating condition.

What can I do to keep my workers healthy and safe while working at home?

Recognize this is a new way of working that requires employees to understand how to be safe. Here’s what we’ve provided to our staff:

  • Specific contacts to help with IT and safety concerns and an intranet community page to facilitate the sharing of work-from-home best practices.
  • Virtual video town hall meetings and team “social hours” to create community and connectedness, both of which are important for mental health.
  • Ergonomic resources and fact sheets that provide guidance such as: how to set up an ergonomic workstation, using the Pomodoro Technique to reduce fatigue, and suggestions on how to structure the day to allow for healthy habits like meditating, stretching, yoga, or neighborhood walks.

We are happy to provide you with additional information on the steps we’re taking to keep our employees healthy and safe. We’d also like to hear what you’re doing to keep your staff safe. You can reach out to your Haley & Aldrich team or contact one of our health and safety and business continuity experts below.

Published: 4/9/2020

Authors

Danyle Hepler

Corporate Health and Safety Manager

Brian Fitzpatrick

Chief Health & Safety Officer