By Charles Holland-Extension Office
Many of us are looking forward to venturing out and getting some errands done or getting something to eat at a local establishment. As we do enter this time, we have to keep safety in the forefront. Business owners need to worry about customer safety and that of their employees. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce just sent put a pdf entitled “Return To Work Guide.” There are many helpful tips for business owners on how to safely reopen businesses in Missouri. It also good for the public to read so everyone understands the challenges for the near future.
To reduce the risk of transmission the Missouri Chamber recommends reviewing guidelines for a safe workplace. Promoting personal hygiene is still important. Please wash your hands! Reducing the risk also requires sanitized and frequently cleaned work areas and common touch areas. If possible, use touch free solutions for workers and customers.
Some ways to reduce contact and risk are: provide visual markers for six-foot distancing, restrict unnecessary movement, stagger employee breaks, hold meeting in large space, separate employees from workers, have different restrooms if possible and require deliveries to be dropped outside. Place signage to remind employees of hygiene practices and safety expectations while at work.
Ensure a safe customer service experience by adding plastic barriers at registers, limiting the number of customers in the business, apply the visual markers for the six-foot distancing practices and offer curbside or drive through service whenever possible. Reduce travel and conduct virtual meetings instead of face-to-face. Do not forget to place signage to remind public on entry, movement and expectations while conducting business.
Business owners before getting everyone to work, ask employees about their health status. If they were on sick leave, require certification by a health profession on the ability to return to work safely. Create a response plane for employees who report or demonstrate symptoms at work or have tested positive for Covid-19.
The Missouri Chamber has sent this guide to all member Chambers of Commerce. Please call your local chamber for a copy if you have not received a copy. Please call your local Extension office or SBDC for assistance with reopening your business. And, please remember to smile, everyone could use a smile. #showmeresilience
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