As the country tests the waters on how to open back up in the midst of a pandemic, everyone–from government officials to businesses and workers–is making tough decisions. While it’s hard to say what’s next, one thing seems clear: We are going to be in this thing for a while. As we navigate new waters, businesses have new considerations to protect workers, too.
If you staff special events or hire freelance video crews for one-off projects, temporary workers are an incomparable asset. You’re responsible for providing basic protections under the best circumstances. As COVID-19 runs its terrible course, the risks of not adequately protecting workers have increased tenfold. You don’t want to put your workers at risk of infection, of course. On top of that, if your workers don’t feel safe, they will be less likely to put their health at risk for your event or whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.
When it comes to keeping them safe, happy, and productive, the best insurance for temporary employees is accident and illness prevention.
OSHA updates its guidelines as the situation changes, so be sure to check back regularly and to refer to the CDC’s coronavirus webpage. The CDC advises that in addition to touching contaminated surfaces, spread occurs through “respiratory secretions” that “enter the mouths and noses of people nearby, and can be inhaled into the nose and lungs.” Asymptomatic spread makes it extra hard to trace and prevent.
We all know about social distancing, but OSHA has developed thorough guidelines for classifying worker exposure risks into lower, medium, high, and very high risk categories, with corresponding guidance and resources for protecting workers in each category. See the Control and Prevention page and this page with information for businesses.
Occupational Heat Exposure
In addition to COVID-19, we are also in the middle of the hottest months of the year in much of the U.S. So don’t let occupational heat precautions go out the window while you work on virus prevention. By taking the following precautions against heat-related issues, businesses can lower safety risks and prevent fines and lawsuits, too:
- Provide water, rest, and shade: It’s easy to get into a project and forget about the time. Sometimes proactive measures like mandatory breaks with plenty of hydration will remind people to take care of themselves in the heat.
- Recognize the signs: Managers should be on high alert for symptoms of heat exhaustion. According to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA), “Persons suffering from heat exhaustion might have cool, moist skin; sweat heavily; or complain of headache, nausea or lightheadedness.”
- Know and respect workers’ rights: It’s not just about staying compliant with the letter of the law, but about understanding and staying true to the spirit behind it. Even if you can push temporary employees a little further to get the job done faster, it’s worth going above and beyond to provide a safe environment. OSHA offers free on-site consultation services to help diligent employers eliminate any problems up front. Contact them at 1-800-321-OSHA for more information.
COVID-19 is our current reality. If we want to get back to any semblance of life as we once knew it, we simply must accommodate for it. OSHA provides thorough guidelines for going back to work and preparing the workplace. They even have a section for specific industries. In addition, staying compliant with OSHA’s guidelines on Occupational Heat Exposure prevents workers from getting heat related illness. It also prevents them from missing work and you from getting fined. Keep everyone safe so neither you nor your employees end up paying the price.
Prevention is great, but actual insurance for temporary employees is still a must. You don’t need to spend hours translating all the legalese. We’ve already done it and know just what businesses need to do to stay compliant with insurance regulations. PayReel eliminates guesswork and frees you up to get you back to doing the creative work you love. Click here to speak to us!