Play Ball! Dealing with Workplace Issues as Life Resumes Post-Pandemic
Nothing is easy at the moment. Ask Major League Baseball!
Every employer is dealing with huge issues to ensure the safety of employees and colleagues as the return to work gets slowly underway.
As baseball readies itself for a 60-game season, the players and team management are having to absorb a 113-page operations manual that lays out the procedures and guidelines for playing in the coronavirus era.
The new rules are fascinating, covering moments both large and small in a ball game.
Laying aside obvious steps such as banning spitting and lockers six feet apart, among our favorites are:
- The suggestion that players arrive at the stadium fully dressed to play (so that guy pumping gas with the name of your favorite player on his back, may well be your favorite player).
- Infielders must step away from baserunners when time is called (so no chit-chat while on the bases).
- Balls used for batting practice must be stored for five days before being used again (I hope that baseball factories are on full production because a lot of balls are needed).
- No batboys or girls (it is not clear who will pick up helmets, shin-guards and bats).
Sadly, the return to work for the rest of us is just as challenging and with less entertaining side-notes than the MLB operations manual.
Reviewing the official guidance on the changes and guidelines to ensure safety and handle any infections among your employees, there is a lot of great information and ideas.
We have listed some of the most useful links at the end of this blog.
However, it is worth highlighting less obvious steps that should be taken to adhere to best practices:
Identify a team of trained and trusted individuals to serve as the points of contact for information and answering questions on safety related issues.
Have a procedure in place for workers who appear to have symptoms on arrival, so that they can be separated from others and be given safe transport home.
Even more carefully than usual, monitor and respond to absenteeism and have plans to cover essential tasks should there be a spike in illness-related absences. One recommendation is to cross-train employees so that they can all fill in when essential roles are open.
Visitor & Contractor Resources:
Ensure supplies for visitors to clean their hands and cover coughs and sneezes. Ensure on-site contractors understand the changes and policies. Place posters in reception and meeting rooms to promote hygiene best practices. Discourage handshaking by encouraging other forms of non-contact greeting methods.
Follow the example of your local supermarket and use visual cues such as decals and colored tape on the floor to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible.
These recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg on running a risk assessment and creating a safety plan for the workplace during the pandemic.
It is extremely challenging with a lot of details to consider.
We will return to the topic in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, here are links to valuable resources:
- Department of Homeland Security & Travel Advice
- Department of Health & Human Services & Medical Privacy
Learn how hundreds of organizations large and small are using our award-winning crisis management platform, In Case of Crisis, to better prepare for and respond faster to emerging threats.