Our Business Lawyer Explains Workplace Safety During COVID
Recently, health officials announced the presence of Coronavirus in all 50 states. In an effort to contain the virus, health and safety experts urge individuals to avoid gatherings of more than ten people. As such, businesses across the country have begun closing their doors to help control the spread of the virus. Nordstroms, Macy’s, Apple and Build-a-Bear are just some of the stores that shut their doors across the country. This news has business owners across the country worried about how this outbreak will affect their sales and their future.
How Can I Keep My Business Afloat During the Coronavirus Outbreak?
Business owners need to stay informed as the news changes. Every day there are new health concerns and restrictions. Vigilance and education will help business owners stay abreast of the changing news. To stay afloat during these trying times, consider the following:
Health and Safety Matters.
As business owners, the health and safety of your staff and customers are your primary concerns. During this outbreak, your customers and guests will remember how you handled the situation. They will also remember that you put their health and safety above profits.
- Pick up the phone to speak with your staff and customers during the outbreak. Coronavirus is very contagious. If a staff member is sick, make sure they stay home so they do not spread the virus. Share your safety measures with any customers who may have concerns.
- Be sure your staff are taking the necessary precautions to wipe down, clean and disinfect all surfaces regularly. Place bottles of hand sanitizer and wipes in all common areas of your business.
- Consider Those Most at Risk. If you are able, consider holding special hours designated for the elderly or individuals who are at a higher risk for contracting the virus. Be sure you follow CDC guidelines related to the Coronavirus at all times.
- Educate your staff on the benefits of proper handwashing. Staff should wash their hands 12-15 times a day and avoid handshakes during this time. Download CDC posters and display them in your business to remind your staff to take precautions to help reduce contamination.
Protect Your Business
During this time, sales may decrease or you may find your products in high demand. Wherever you fit on the curve, it is important to protect your business. Stay in contact with vendors and suppliers every day and monitor for interruptions in deliveries or shipping. Pay close attention to your top accounts and contact them daily during the outbreak. Staying in contact with your top accounts and vendors is the key to weathering this storm.
Protect Your Liquidity
If your business shuts down, do you have enough liquidity to survive? Talk to your bank right now to make sure your business has enough money to pay employees and weather the shutdown. Talk to your insurance agent to determine if your policy covers the Coronavirus outbreak. Not every business will have the liquidity to weather a lengthy shutdown. As such, it is important to talk to your bank and insurance company to review the options available to you during this time.
Some businesses may weather the Coronavirus outbreak best by evolving to fit the changing times. Consider offering a delivery service or a drive-up service for guests who wish to still support your establishment. Craft breweries, for example, began offering a beer delivery service to help drive sales. With on-premise sales at a halt, breweries across the country got creative and evolved to help move their products to willing and excited guests. In California, a San Francisco-based brewery used its distilling equipment to make alcohol-based hand sanitizers to donate to local nonprofits and nursing homes.
Additional COVID Resources
The pandemic is a continuously evolving situation. Due to constantly changing information, we included some resources that can help business owners stay on top of COVID.
- OSHA. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency responsible for regulating workplace safety. You can find COVID updates on their site.
- CDC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an excellent COVID resource. You can receive updates on COVID from the CDC. In fact, you can use the CDC app to set up alerts on your phone.
- The State of California. California operates a COVID resource website. You can find information on cases and other important updates on their site.
- The California Department of Labor. You can also obtain COVID information for business owners from the California Department of Labor.
Have More Questions? Our Palo Alto Business Attorney May Be Able to Help
To learn more about how the Coronavirus might affect your business, contact Winghart Law Group, Inc. at (650) 332-2994 or fill out our confidential contact form. We’ve been serving Palo Alto, Redwood City and Bay Area businesses for years. We believe in cost-effective legal representation. Come see why so many Redwood City businesses turn to Winghart Law Group, Inc. to help them with all business disputes and matters.