COVID-19 has brought with it many additional concerns and precautions as people all over the world work to keep each other safe. From masking to social distancing, most people are responsible only for their own and their family’s actions. As a building manager, you have additional responsibilities to consider in order to keep your building’s occupants and your employees safe.
One of the most important things you can do as a building manager is to stay informed on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local health department. This information should guide your policies and procedures as you work to keep your building safe. Additionally, be sure to follow local and state ordinances regarding masking and other safety requirements to avoid fines or other punishments.
Although guidelines have changed as scientists learn more about the virus, one piece of advice that has remained consistent is cleaning high-touch surfaces frequently. Door handles, pin pads, elevator buttons, and handrails are all examples of surfaces for which you should have regularly scheduled cleaning.
Know Your Risk
Even with frequent cleaning, you still face potential health risks in your building. Analyze the potential for virus spread by considering the number of high-touch surfaces in common areas, the amount of person to person interaction required within the building, and the quality of your ventilation system.
As you consider the health risks, you must also consider the legal risks. Review your insurance policies, contracts, and any other legal documents for wording related to liability and costs. In particular, what portion of the additional cleanings costs are your responsibility? Who is responsible for conducting cleaning? Knowing these legal and financial risks up-front will help to inform your decisions.
The hope is that regular cleaning and distancing procedures will keep COVID-19 from impacting your building, but prevention is not enough. You need to have a plan in place for dealing with any COVID cases in your building. Cleaning procedures and contact tracing must be addressed. Your plan should include adhering to privacy laws while keeping your building’s residents and employees safe and informed. It is also important that your plan include clear communication with your employees and any building occupants about the precautions you are taking and how cases will be handled.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ensure that you have planned for maximum safety of your employees. Current recommendations include keeping physical distance from others, so those who are able to work from home could do so, reducing risk of in-person transmission. Depending on the nature of your business, personal protective equipment, such as masks or gloves, may also be necessary.
You should also have a plan to allow employees are feeling ill to stay home without sacrificing any key functions of the business. Whether you choose work from home allowances, temporary staffing agency options, cross training existing employees, or a combination, you’ll need to be able to cover the duties of some employees who may be out sick for extended periods of time.
Let Fresh Foam help keep you, your employees, and your residents safe. We offer a full line of disinfecting treatments from general wipe down services to proactive and reactive disinfecting treatments. Learn more at www.getfreshfoam.com/covid-19-services.