New Workspace Configurations Reinforce Employee Safety
The GMS team is working to identify new workspace configurations that will reinforce employee safety at all of its facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic requires a robust response from employers to examine all aspects of workspaces, from entry to exit. Many organizations have issued a variety of helpful guidelines. The key to their effectiveness is thoughtful and rigorous implementation.
General Guidelines for New Workspace Configurations
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other organizations provide several recommendations for employers looking to create new workspace configurations to prepare for COVID-19. OSHA maintains an online COVID-19 resource center with many highlights and guidelines. These guidelines include, but are not limited to:
- Implementing appropriate policies for:
- Social distance requirements
- Protective equipment including masks
- Checking employee temperatures
- Testing/Isolation/Contact tracing
- Use and disinfection of common areas
- Business travel
- Monitoring workforces for symptoms
- Implementing policies for workforce contact tracing
Phasing in New Workspace Configurations
Following a phased approach lets employers and employees test new workspace configurations and determine whether they must address additional points. Employee feedback can help identify areas that might be of concern when larger numbers of employees return.
Another benefit of a phased approach is that if there are areas of concern, the likelihood of a greater issue can be avoided. The CDC encourages employers to conduct a thorough hazard assessment of their workspaces to identify any potential issues related to COVID-19. It also recommends using appropriate combinations of controls from the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOSH)’s hierarchy of controls to limit the spread of the virus. The hierarchy of controls includes aspects relating to:
- Engineering controls
- Workplace administrative policies
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The hierarchy of controls range from least effective (protect the worker with PPE) to most effective (physically remove the hazard).
Important Reminder from the CDC for New Workspace Configurations
The CDC recommends that employers remind both employees and customers that the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings. However, face coverings do not replace the need to practice social distancing.
How can GMS Help Your Company?
GMS’s team of relocation experts has worked with many clients on all aspects of corporate relocations. Reconfiguring workspaces to reinforce employee safety is similar to arranging a corporate move. Points to consider range from new workspace configurations to identifying specific needs through Pre-Decision Services for new hires and transferees.
GMS has the knowledge and experience to help your company understand how to identify issues and learn about useful resources. As a result, we can help your team create an appropriate solution to limit hazards relating to COVID-19 in your new workspace configurations.
What Should Employers do?
Employers looking to create new workspace configurations should work with an experienced and knowledgeable Relocation Management Company (RMC). RMCs are ideal sources for information on corporate relocations, workspace setups, and a variety of other issues specific to each employer’s needs.
GMS’ team of corporate relocation experts has helped many of our clients determine how to identify specific needs with respect to corporate locations and new workspace configurations. Our team can help your company determine how leverage guidelines and resources to help limit issues relating to COVID-19.
GMS was the first relocation company to register as a “.com.” The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.
Contact our experts online to discuss how GMS can help your company determine how to set up new workspace configurations, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.