As part of its WebIH Webinar Learning Series, SKC proudly presented COVID-19: Best Practices for Re-opening — An Expert Roundtable on August 31, 2020. SKC Inc. Corporate Industrial Hygienist Lucinette Alvarado, CIH and President Doug Dowis were joined by Hamid Arabzadeh, MScA, CIH, FAIHA, CSP, and CHMM for a discussion outlining guidelines for safe re-opening and procedures for keeping employees healthy and safe as they return to work.
Webinar registrants were encouraged to submit questions to SKC prior to the webinar date. The expert panel kicked off the session with an answer to the big question on the minds of many employers: “What are the basic principles to consider when re-opening a business during COVID-19?” The panelists emphasized the need to understand the virus and how it spreads and to identify appropriate sampling and prevention measures such as handwashing, social distancing, and using respiratory protection.
Another popular question involved best practices for monitoring employee health. Attendees asked whether they should be implementing temperature screenings for on-site employees. In answer, Lucinette Alvarado shared that SKC follows local government guidelines that are based on CDC recommendations. If an SKC employee is considered a probable or suspected case, temperature screenings become mandatory for all on-site employees and are performed using a contactless thermometer. If an employee has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, Human Resources is notified, and the case is evaluated.
The expert panelists also shared important tips regarding communicating re-opening policies, procedures, and other relevant information to employees. Being as transparent as possible with employees is key. Doug Dowis stated, “It’s really important to talk to managers, team leaders, and everyone in the company to answer any questions that employees might have. The faster we can share the information the better off everyone is.” Hamid Arabzadeh ended this topic on an equally important note—employers must be aware that everyone is under pressure, including managers and leaders. He reminded attendees that collaborative support is very important during these times.
The following third-party references were recommended by the expert panelists for additional information and guidance on COVID-19 and re-opening: