One of the big concerns on the minds of businesses as they reopen is the potential to be sued by employees or consumers who may contract COVID-19 after visiting their business. There has been enough concern that some states have even passed laws that protect businesses from such lawsuits. Regardless of whether or not your business is in one of those states, there are some things you should be doing to protect your business.
As an employer you are responsible for providing your employees with a safe work environment. Monitoring them for symptoms is one of the things you should be doing to protect them from contracting COVID-19. Consider implementing screening measures, such as taking employee temperatures, before beginning to work. If employees show signs of illness, send them home instead of requiring them to continue working. This will help prevent you from being negligent in protecting the other employees and your customers from whatever illness your sick employee has.
When it comes to keeping workplace transmission down, repetition is the best strategy. Regular, repeated reminders help a message stick. Sure, you could ask people to keep their distance verbally or with signs, but floor markings may be more helpful. Floor markings can be a great tool for visually reminding customers and employees to keep their distance. They help everyone visually understand how far apart they should be. They also make it obvious that you as a business are trying to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and are taking precautions where you can. By doing so, you help protect your business from being sued for negligence.
Keeping good records of the measures you are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 serves a dual purpose. It helps protect you in the event of a lawsuit by providing evidence that you were not negligent in your efforts. Careful record keeping also protects your business because of what you have to do to record something. If you’re keeping records of employees you’re sending home, that means you’re sending them home. Recording when bathrooms are cleaned means you’re more likely to clean them regularly. Documentation is one way to improve employee accountability and provide evidence that you as a business are doing your part.
It’s important that you do your due diligence as a business to protect yourself from lawsuits related to COVID-19. Monitor your employees, utilize floor markings, and document everything. This can help establish patterns of healthy behavior that reduce the risk of employees or consumers contracting COVID-19 on your premises and thereby reduce your risk of being sued for it.
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