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How to Keep Essential Employees Safe 

In 2020, workplace safety has taken on a whole new meaning. While many employees are allowed to work from home, many jobs deemed essential provide no such option. Employees look to their company leaders to keep them safe, and many managers have been kept awake at night wondering if they are doing enough for their valued employees.

Here are some tips you can use to keep your essential employees safe right now.  

First, Thank Them Every Chance You Get 

Every employee who must come to work is potentially exposing themselves to harm. First and foremost, create a work environment that celebrates your team, shows appreciation and provides real support. Thank them at every opportunity and ask about their families and how they are coping, as well.  

Make Safety the #1 Priority 

There can be no shortcuts to safety right now. Perhaps you were lax in the past about PPE, but now is not the time to allow people to cut corners.  

Make sure employees know how to report breaches in safety protocols, as well. If someone is asking their team to do something that puts them in harm’s way, employees should be empowered to not only say no but to report the behavior, as well.  

Send Sick Employees Home 

Now is not the time to force a sick employee to tough it out. In fact, doing so could cost lives. Now is the time to make it easy for employees to stay home until they are well. Make sure employees know they will not be fired if they call off and you will not think less of them. Work with a staffing and recruiting company to access temporary or contract employees if you are down a few staff members on essential projects. Do whatever it takes to support employees if they need to take time off.  

Clean, Clean, Clean  

Whatever your minimal standards for cleanliness are on a worksite or project, increase them by a factor of 100. Provide access to handwashing stations, give out hand sanitizer and PPE, disinfect smooth and shared surfaces and ensure that everyone can work six feet apart as often as possible. When this is not possible, make sure employees in close contact are well protected and can wash their hands immediately afterward.  

Offer More Breaks  

Schedule workflow so that you can offer more breaks than usual throughout the day. This is a highly stressful time and it’s important to let people step aside and step away from work. Also encourage employees to take PTO if they need a break. People are under tremendous stress both at work and at home, and if you see someone struggling mentally, ask them if they need a day off.  

Communicate Often  

Make sure you are in constant communication with employees so that they understand the steps that you are taking to keep them as safe as possible. It’s also important to give them time to ask questions, share things that they need from you and even to vent some frustrations.  

Looking for more tips on keeping your essential workers safe? Contact PEAK Technical Staffing today to learn more about how we can help you and your staff navigate these challenging times.   

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