Do You Have an Employee Coronavirus Plan ?
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  1. #1
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    Default Do You Have an Employee Coronavirus Plan ?

    Do you have a plan if one of your employees comes up with Coronavirus? I'm referring to an actual plan. Some policy that is written down somewhere. My HR has been abysmal with directing us. They say that things are changing so fast (and they are), that it's too dynamic to write a policy. I get it.

    I'm also fully aware and expect to face situation in the not to distant future where the coronavirus hits very close to work.

    Here, if an employee tests positive or shows symptoms, then he's done for two weeks. It gets stickier when it's not actually the employee.

    Possible (likely) scenarios.

    1. Someone in the employee's household is showing symptoms of the virus. It's almost certain that the employee is exposed. Do you still let them come to work? Are you going to penalize the employee for something that happened to someone else?

    2. Someone in the employee's household is has been around someone who has the virus. So now your employee has been exposed to an exposed. Do you let him come to work? How long does this "friend of a friend of a friend" thing go?

    I'm not sure it's that unfair to the employee to be on vacation for 2 weeks. I read where the CARES act that was recently passed will pay up to an additional $600 per week on top of your states regular unemployment up to 100% of your pay. That would make most of my guys whole.

    And what about presymptomatic ? I could have it for all I know, and just not showing symptoms yet. The testings down here take a few days before you get the results back. Are you guilty until proven innocent those few days?
    Go back to my scenarios. Let's say you didn't have the virus when you got tested, but you've spent those few days waiting on test results at home. I figure the chances of you getting the virus are going up every day. Meanwhile your test comes back negative, but it's more likely you have the virus now.

    Can we do anything to be completely safe from a physical and legal standpoint?

  2. #2
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    Its subject to your jurisdiction of course, but think the basic universal principal is around "did you do everything reasonable to provide a safe workplace?"

    I've:

    1) posted notices on the basic behaviour as the first line and strongest line of defense - social distancing, hand wash/sanitizing, cough into sleeve, don't touch your face
    2) personally addressed them on the above and continual chats reinforcing
    3) encouraging them to get their information on symptoms/prevention from professional sources - CDC, WHO, Health Canada
    4) Post no admittance signs for visitors
    5) stay at home if you have symptoms, no one will lose their job (but they're on the clock so would to on unemployment)
    6) Banned the lunch truck (yeah, I was really popular for that one)

    Open to other ideas....

  3. #3
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    I laid everyone off and told them I'd help them file for unenjoyment.
    May as well burn some of that money sitting in my state account.

    If an employee does show symptoms or tests positive then what do you do with the contaminated workplace itself?
    Is a three day shutdown okay since it seems the bug only lives that long on it's own?
    Now perhaps you have workers who may not be showing anything but have it. How to screen that?

    I think back to working in a 800 man shop, stairways, break rooms, locker rooms and showers.
    In one safety meeting there was a big to do about how important it is to always use the handrail when going up or down the stairs. Powerpoint and the whole deal along with a lecture from the plant manager.
    This was during a normal flu season peak and I'm thinking, ....not me.
    Yet it became my job to deliver the presentation to my team and have each and all literary sign off that they had been given and understood this advice and policy.
    Technically a person could be written up for not using the handrail as it was a health and safety violation.

    I'd not so much worry about the legal standpoint, worry about your staff and more important their worries.
    Many will be afraid, some deep end. Acknowledge and address those fears.
    Bob

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    Interestinlgy, two TO hospitals, one a major teaching hospital, has instructed workers to come to work if the have Covid 19 but don't have symptoms.

    It's contradictory to every other edict, but they obviously knw a thing or two about health. iirc the logic was something like their value at work was greater than the risk they posed, with the basic behaviours (distancing, sanitizing, etc) adhered to.

    What if an employee came down with it? Obviously they'd be away for the duration. I think i'd probably close 48 hours or whatever the longest life span was of the virus. Its a big plant to disinfect

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    Our plant has less than 200 ppl.They started letting each shift off 15min. early still on the clock,have to be out of the plant before the next shift.Each shift parks and enters at a different location,no time clock,no ot.

    The hand washing station that everybody has to use when entering the plant is three units side by side so they had to block two units to keep 6ft distance.

    As to what will happen if an employee gets exposed or infected,don't know.

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    There has finally been a recommendation from the WH for use of face masks during periods when you have to be in close proximity to others. While inconvenient, they're much more effective than most other methods for cutting down transmission because they both block most (but not all) of the actual particles that contain the virus, but also they're a physical barrier between hands and face.

    Still, you have to use sense when handling the mask. Wash hands before putting on or taking off, keep it clean, if you sneeze in it wipe it down with a disinfectant (presuming industrial style mask), etc.

    Ain't nothing foolproof out there except for being a hermit...

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    On the masks.....I read something about a hospital figuring out how to reuse them. Now, if we're talking same person using his own mask so as to avoid the gross out factor, why couldn't you just bake them at 150C/300F for 15 minutes.....diy autoclave without the pressure. Supposedly viruses and bacterial don't survive over 125C.

    Its semi OT to the thread, but it might be a worthwhile policy thing to help with the mask shortage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    On the masks.....I read something about a hospital figuring out how to reuse them. Now, if we're talking same person using his own mask so as to avoid the gross out factor, why couldn't you just bake them at 150C/300F for 15 minutes.....diy autoclave without the pressure. Supposedly viruses and bacterial don't survive over 125C.

    Its semi OT to the thread, but it might be a worthwhile policy thing to help with the mask shortage?
    There are a variety of ways to disinfect them. Most of the hospitals are using UV. Two other methods that have been successfully tested are steam and heat.

    https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a553712.pdf

    One of the neater methods that's been successful in studies is to steam it in one of the breast pump microwave sterilizing bags. Unfortunately, some masks are hydrophilic and get very wet from this.

    Evaluation of Microwave Steam Bags for the Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators

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    Re cleaning masks for reuse. Doctors and nurses used to wear cloth gowns, hats etc that got washed after every use. None of this disposal stuff. I understand a diaper service is no more expensive then disposable diapers.
    But the inconvenience factor is what made them transition to disposable.

    I Understand the masks do not work by filtering exactly. The holes are bigger then the particles. The particles get a short distance into the mask then electrostatic action grabs the particles and locks them onto the matrix inside the mask. Not just a physical barrier on the surface.. Washing in the wrong stuff reduces this electrostatic action and stuff then just passes through the holes.
    Bil lD


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