As the economy reopens after months of lockdown enforced by the authorities to slow the spread of coronavirus, it is easy to predict that more businesses will become targets of personal injury lawsuits both from returning employees and customers. For one, the pandemic still remains a serious public health concern. More states in the U.S continue to witness a spike in the number of new cases. Unfortunately, there is no approved vaccine or cure for the potentially deadly virus yet.
If you are contemplating reopening your physical store, or are already fully back to business, you may be wondering about the measures you can put in place to avoid further negative economic impact lawsuits may have on your business. In this article, you will learn various safety precautions you can implement in accordance with the Center For Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for reopening.
While safety measures don’t have to be all about coronavirus. Most businesses, factories and manufacturing companies (rendering nonessential services) have been locked for months. Before returning, it is important to evaluate the condition of the machines and equipment to ascertain whether or not they’re safe for workers.
Why Is It Important To Prioritize Safety Measures In Your Business?
- For now, there is no agreement between the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress over whether there should be a nationwide immunity for businesses as the economy reopens. Many plaintiff lawyers and notable advocacy organizations across the country have continued to threaten to sue businesses that operate in an unreasonably unsafe manner which may expose workers and customers to the risk of the coronavirus infection.
Already, there are a plethora of personal injury lawsuits being filed against cruise line companies, elderly care facilities and most recently a meat processing company. This tells you how ready many personal injury attorneys are ready to take on organizations, businesses or groups that disregard public health guidelines whether wittingly or unwittingly. Therefore, you cannot afford to take chances when it comes to protecting employees and consumers from the risk of exposure in order to avoid potential employer liability.
What Are The Center For Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines For Reopening?
Evaluate the Building Before Reopening Business
- The CDC recommends that employers visit and examine their office premises before returning to work. You should take time to evaluate the building as well as its mechanical and life safety systems and make sure they are in proper condition and ready for employees to return. Potential hazards associated with prolonged shutdown should be identified and rectified. Importantly, a building’s ventilation system must be in a stable and proper working condition to increase the circulation of air from the outdoors.
Upgrade HVAC Systems
- Medical professionals and scientists have ascertained that coronavirus particles travel through the air. That said, upgrading your HVAC equipment to include the ability to effectively filter the air and restrict widespread circulation can reduce the spread of the virus
Implement COVID-19 Related Safety Measures
- As an employer or business owner, you owe both your employees and customers a duty of care, including the responsibility to protect them from the risk of contracting the virus while on your office premises. One way to achieve this is by making sure that you provide a safe and healthy work environment.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you identify areas of the workplace where employees and customers could be potentially exposed to COVID-19. Measures such as regular hand sanitization, mandatory wearing of masks, and social distancing should be thoroughly implemented and enforced.
Conduct Daily Employee Health Checks
- Your business should prioritize regular and daily employees and customers health checks as they come into your office premises. For example, you should make sure employees and customers visiting your brick and mortar store take temperature tests before entering the building. This will help you determine if a person is beginning to display symptoms of coronavirus.
Also, you should make hand sanitizer available throughout the workplace, as well as access to soap and water in bathrooms and sink areas. You should have a banner or a couple up, to educate people on how the virus is transmitted and then discourage handshaking. Regularly used equipment, including computers, should be properly sanitized throughout the day.
What Are The Potential Compensation Claims For Coronavirus-Related Injuries?
- You can become liable if it can be proven that an employee or customer contracts the virus on your business premises due to your failure to put in place reasonable safety precautions to protect people coming into your business area from exposure to coronavirus.
A stitch in time saves nine. It is better to do the right thing now and avoid needless economic loss that lawsuits portend.