COVID-19 Safety Protocols in the Workplace

Since 1994, William D. Jones MD has assisted Oklahoma City, OK patients with occupational safety needs. As a medical doctor in Oklahoma City, William D. Jones MD focuses much energy on keeping up to date on COVID-19 protocols in the workplace.

Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe workplace, determined by OSHA and state guidelines. To track changes in rules, an employer should designate someone to check these rules online at least weekly. Whatever policy an employer adopts, it should follow OSHA guidelines the closest and implement state policies as much as possible without contradicting federal rules. Employers should also seek legal advice to help interpret relevant laws regarding public health protocols for their business type.

Employees in different industries will follow guidelines tailored to them, current COVID-19 transmission rates in their location, and company culture. Office workers in a low-transmission area, at cubicles or desks more than six feet apart, may still need to wear masks if their company policy dictates it. Small and or poorly-ventilated spaces, regardless of industry, will implement stricter measures, like limiting maximum worker capacities, staggering shifts, or providing surgical-grade PPE.

The Long Term Impact of COVID-19 on the American Workplace

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An Oklahoma City preventive care and occupational health physician, William D. Jones, MD emphasizes patient-focused care. One area in which William D. Jones, MD has a strong interest in is the impact that COVID-19 has in the workplace.

A recent article in Forbes brought attention to the way people’s work will be impacted in the long term. One is that corporate flexibility when it comes to remote working will become widespread. Many companies will either maintain a virtual workforce or offer a work from home (WFH) option to those who choose it. While WFH is not possible in every type of job, there are many positions that center on sitting at a desk using a computer.

At the same time, barring the quick development of a vaccine, those job sites that require physical presence are not likely to allow normal social interactions for a lengthy period after opening. Social distancing, temperature checks, and barriers between individual workspaces will be the norm, both as a way of protecting worker health and maintaining legal accountability.

The bottom line is that for a majority of working Americans, adaptations will need to be made to their normal way of working for months and potentially years.