Due to the coronavirus pandemic, your workplace has most certainly experienced a huge shift in 2020 and is likely still adapting to all the new safety protocols ushered in by risks of COVID-19 infection.
Your employees are feeling the impact as well.
Some may be caring for sick relatives or have even lost loved ones. Others are navigating an uncertain future with no peace of mind about childcare and schools reopening.
As a business leader, you value employee health and are responsible for workplace safety. You already have a mask policy in place, supply your workers with PPE, and educate them on maintaining a clean and sanitary workplace. You may have already modified your workplace wellness protocols to accommodate workplace testing and stricter risk assessment criteria.
What more can be done to ensure the security of your business?
Workplace wellness programs
Traditionally, workplace wellness programs included gym memberships, healthy snacks, and fitness-oriented challenges.
While those perks are beneficial, employers are now compelled to shift their focus to the immediate needs of addressing COVID-19 infection risks and maintaining public safety.
With summer winding down and your workplace gearing up for the regular winter flu season, the COVID-19 threat still looms large. It may be time to consider an employee wellness program specifically designed to manage and prevent COVID-19 infections.
Addressing employee risks
Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are no longer classic COVID-19 infection indicators on their own. A wide variety of other symptoms have emerged.
With the nature of COVID-19 remaining unpredictable and symptoms continually evolving, the once-reliable temperature check may not be the best screening tool.
Certain risk factors are still predictable and can help determine employee risks. People age 65 and older and those above 85 remain at the highest risk for infection. Those living with heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and weakened immune systems are also more vulnerable.
Hard decisions are being made around allowing older employees to remain in the workplace—especially essential workers, teachers, and others with high-risk ailments.
A workplace wellness program can assess risks stemming from employee living conditions requiring special consideration.
Employee living conditions
An ongoing challenge exists to determine when employees need to stay home or work remotely due to suspected COVID-19 exposure.
Anyone entering your workplace poses a potential risk to others. Even though you take careful precautions it’s tough to anticipate every threat. Everyone is aware that attending large gatherings, not wearing masks, and following proper social distancing guidelines are the basics of combating COVID-19 infections.
Yet, there’s no way of knowing the extent to which your employees (or members of their household) adhere to these guidelines in their free time.
Asymptomatic carriers could have visited the household from other states or are living in the household. A worker could be caring for an infected family member in close quarters and not tell anyone at work, because they may fear losing their job or being shunned at work. There are endless unknown variables.
Worried about unknown risks?
We are in uncharted waters, but have learned a lot about what is working and what isn’t working. Part of the Because Health mission is to help businesses reopen safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—and ensure that businesses maintain a healthy work environment by providing ongoing support, resources, and prevention protocols.
What we do know is that a workplace wellness program helps businesses establish clear expectations for employee reporting and strategies to assess individual risks.
Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive Workplace Health program that includes a personal medical consultant to guide you in identifying high-risk employees, manage on-site COVID-19 testing, and arrange telehealth assessments if necessary.