As we begin to reopen our businesses and return to life as normal, you may be asking yourself what steps you should take to prepare to reopen your business in this post-covid19 world.
Some things may be different, and some additional precautions may be necessary however. Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re planning your reopening!
Every business is different
Because every business is different, it’s important to carefully think through how your business functions, your customer flow, and how your customers and staff interact with others throughout the day.
While we can give you some things to think about, it’s important to tailor any reopening plans to your business and its needs.
We’ll still need to take precautions
As we begin to reopen our businesses, we’ll need to continue to take necessary precautions to protect our customers and staff. For instance:
- Social Distancing will still be necessary.
- Masks will continue to be required for staff and customers.
- Regular handwashing and use of hand sanitizer will be necessary for staff.
- Medical monitoring of staff will likely be necessary.
- Regular disinfection of surfaces will be necessary.
- Staff that are not feeling well should be encouraged to stay home.
You may want to reduce what customers have access to
Because any item that’s in front of your customers can potentially be contaminated, you may want to reduce as best as possible how much is in front of them. For example, you may wish to move impulse buy items that would normally sit at your counter to behind your register where you can provide it to the customer upon request. This also will make regular disinfection of these surfaces much easier.
You may need to revise staff flow
As we get back to work, it will become necessary to rethink how our businesses operate and how our staff interact. Here are a few things to consider:
- Workers that can work remotely should continue to do that.
- Steps should be taken to prevent staff from crowding or working too closely with others. You may consider remote meetings, split shifts, bringing your staff back in stages, etc.
- Workers should be provided adequate breaks for handwashing, and provided hand sanitizer for use in between these breaks.
- Protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, should be provided to staff for use during their job duties.
- For consumer-facing workers, you may want to install a fiberglass partition to further protect staff during these interactions.
Your staff may require additional training
While you are providing your staff with safety equipment such as masks and gloves, it’s also important to make sure that they are adequately trained in the proper use of this equipment. This includes how to safely don and wear this equipment, activities that should be avoided, as well as how to properly remove and dispose of this equipment.
Similarly, for staff that will be responsible for disinfecting surfaces, they will need to clearly understand what areas they should be focusing on, how often, and how this disinfection should be performed.
You may need to revise customer flow
As we begin to open our shops and businesses to customers, you may need to revise your customer flow to enforce social distancing and protect your staff and other customers. As an example:
- Signs should be placed in the entry and around your business reminding your customers of the need to social distance and these signs should convey clear instructions such as “1 customer per rack”, “Isle is one way”, “Please only touch what you intend to purchase”, etc.
- You may want to control how many customers are in your business at a time.
- Stores may want to designate isles as one way to ensure customers can socially distance.
- Businesses may want to continue to offer curbside services.
- Stores and shops may want to set up carts or baskets periodically around their stores for customers to place items they had touched but don’t intend to purchase. This allows you to disinfect these items before putting them back out for sale.
- Often touched surfaces, such as counters, conveyor belts, and credit card machines should be disinfected between customers, which will require that customers wait for this to be completed.
You will need to implement disinfection plans
As we prepare to reopen, every business is going to need to think about disinfection to protect their staff and customers from Coronavirus. Not only will businesses have to consider disinfection to prepare their businesses to reopen, but they will need to put in place maintenance disinfection procedures to address surfaces that staff and customers may come in contact with during the day.
Disinfecting to prepare to reopen: This should be performed by a qualified Infectious Disease Disinfection Service that has the training and equipment necessary to properly disinfect your space. Professional disinfection services should also be considered whenever you’ve had a known exposure such as an employee or customer that was found to be sick with Covid19. Depending on how much traffic your business receives, you may wish to have this performed periodically as well.
Maintenance Disinfection: This is the disinfection steps you would be taking between customers or at the end of each day. We recommend thinking through your customer and staff flows to determine what surfaces are touched regularly and to then implement a disinfection plan to address these surfaces regularly. Ideally, you would want to disinfect surfaces before multiple people have an opportunity to come in contact with it. Some common surfaces to consider are sales counters, credit card machines, phones, door knobs, light switches, computers, bathrooms, waiting areas, etc. Once put in place, these disinfection plans should be posted for employees to follow.
We hope this helped you formulate a plan to reopen your business! If we can help further, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices.
About Disaster Blaster
Disaster Blaster is an indoor environmental firm serving the Northeastern PA Area. We have been providing our local area with unparalleled infectious disease disinfection, water damage mitigation, basement waterproofing, mold remediation, asbestos abatement, and radon mitigation services for decades, and are proud to have been named The World’s Greatest Indoor Environmental Firm. For more about Disaster Blaster, as well as more helpful tips, please visit our website at: www.disasterblaster.com or call our office at (570) 963-1123.