As an employer it is important to consider your liability risks as your employees return to work on your agriculture operation.
COVId-19 caused unprecedented disruptions to many industries including agriculture in 2020 that continue today. This, combined with ever changing recommendations and guidelines, can make it difficult to stay ahead of any liability issues. Having the ability to adapt quickly and keep communication lines open with your staff can help ensure a safe, healthy workplace.
There are a couple of proactive steps you can take or continue to take to keep your workplace safe. These include:
So, what is next?
- Keep COVID-19 out of your business. Provide screening, such as body temperature checks, to staff as they enter the premises. Remind staff that anyone showing symptoms should stay home and get tested. Communicate with staff to and keep they informed of any changing regulations. Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the most up to date screening protocols.
- Stop the virus from spreading. Make sure you are following the most up to date guidelines for social distancing and sanitizing protocols. Provide any PPE needed for workers. Stay up to date on any changing guidelines both at the state and federal level, communicating any changes.
- Be prepared. Have plans in place in case your business does have COVID-19 cases, communicate these plans to your staff to help them feel more prepared and confident.
As the light at the end of this tunnel begins to shine, this question is coming up more often. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. The pandemic seems to change daily, influencing change with the guidelines and recommendations.
There are some best practices that you can follow to help mitigate risk:
- Stay up to date. Continue to follow the most up to date guidelines from your local, state, and federal health and workplace agencies.
- Always be communicating. Make sure you are communicating any changes and expectations to your staff and any on site customers frequently.
Whether your agribusiness has remained operational or your transitioning back to normal operation, the virus continues to pose major risks. Being proactive and prepared can help to ensure you and your staff stay safe and healthy. Check out more information on agriculture workforce health and safety here.