The world screeched to a halt due to the global pandemic in early 2020. As a result, millions of people were forced to make a major shift in their day-to-day lives as companies put remote working arrangements into place to protect their employees from the virus. However, the end is in sight, and we are already seeing the world slowly but surely returning to normalcy.
It is in your best interest to know what your employers’ responsibilities are when it comes to protecting your health and overall well-being. As the go-to worker’s compensation law firm in Northern California, we thought it would be helpful to go through everything you need to know about returning to work after COVID-19:
Preparing for Reopening
There have been many companies adapting to certain phases and processes involved when it comes to reopening, and these are outlined in the Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. Aside from outlining the steps that employers must take as the restrictions continue to relax, it also suggests utilizing flexible working arrangements, such as remote work and alternative business operations to provide goods and services.
Along with these adjustments, employers should implement strategies that are geared towards improving basic hygiene, maintaining social distancing, and improving the identification and isolation of potentially sick employees.
Safety Standards and Require Protection in the Workplace
Employers also have to abide by the safety standards that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put into place. Regardless of the vaccine, these standards still apply to protecting workers from infection as they return to the workplace.
This means providing employees with personal protective equipment, especially if the workplace is considered hazardous. They must also make sure that the PPE properly fits each affected employee. Keep in mind that the OSHA also mandates employers to provide their employees with the necessary respiratory protection when the need for it is evident.
Now, there are cases wherein none of OSHA’s specific standards directly relate to COVID-19. For cases like this, it is still the employers’ responsibility to provide employees with a safe workplace that will not compromise their health. This is all covered and mandated under the General Duty Clause of OSHA’s Act of 1970. The OSHA’s Act of 1970 states that it is the employer’s duty to keep their place of employment free from recognized hazards that can cause illness, serious injury, or even death.
At the same time, it’s important to note that employees also need to comply with occupational safety and health standards. When it comes to protecting health and wellness, it has to be a joint effort between employers and employees to successfully guard the wellbeing of the entire workforce.
We hope this discussion has proved to be informative when it comes to the preparations that businesses have to make to successfully and safely resume operations. While the world is approaching a state of normalcy, this doesn’t mean that things will immediately go back to how they were pre-pandemic. As we ride out the tail-end of the pandemic, it’s important to be as vigilant as ever when it comes to health and wellness.
Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers is the go-to worker’s compensation law firm for all workers in California. If you or a loved one needs our help or have a question, give us a call today at 800-606-6999 or chat with a live specialist now!