COVID-19 & Workplace Safety

By April 24, 2020May 1st, 2020COVID-19

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) created a comprehensive template for workplace safety. The template includes a list of things to consider as we reconvene in shared work environments. The template can be found here and important snippets can be found in the below service bulletin. Feel free to share this with anyone you feel may find it helpful.

If workers can work from home, they should be allowed to work from home. Make sure sick employees stay home.

  1. Establish health screening protocols for employees at start of shift, e.g. temperature taking, health screening survey.
  2. Identify and isolate employees with COVID-19 symptoms; and those that have been exposed.
  3. Establish communication protocols when employees have been potentially exposed.
  4. Establish worker sickness reporting protocols.
  5. Evaluate and adjust sick leave policies to reflect need for isolation and incentivize workers who are sick to stay home.
  6. Clearly communicate sick leave polices to all employees.

Increase social distancing. Employees should be 6 feet away from each other.

  1. Stagger shifts and breaks; create additional shifts.
  2. Evaluate traffic patterns to reduce crowding at entrances, in hallways.
  3. Limit gatherings of employees.
  4. Ensure physical distance in workplaces including work stations, productions lines etc.
  5. Maximize the use of telecommuting.
  6. Limit non-essential employee interaction across floors, buildings, campuses, work sites.
  7. Increase physical space between employees and customers, e.g., drive through, partitions.

Employee hygiene and source control.

  1. Ensure employees regularly wash hands. Ensure hand washing and/or hand sanitizer facilities readily available and stocked.
  2. Provide necessary protective equipment, e.g. masks, gloves, disinfectant, shields, etc.
  3. Post hand washing and cover your cough signs.
  4. Encourage use of source control masks.
  5. Prohibit on site food preparation and sharing.

Cleaning and disinfection protocols.

  1. Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment, machinery, tools, controls routinely.
  2. Minimal daily cleaning of all doorknobs, surfaces and other areas touched by hands.
  3. Ensure availability of hand sanitizer and approved cleaning products.
  4. Decontaminate workplace if worker becomes ill with COVID-19.


Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at too.


Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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