September is the national preparedness month, and it encourages us to take real action, focusing on the protection of ourselves, our employees, and our families. Workplace emergencies can cause threatening situations to workers, customers, and the general public. Likewise, it can damage the environment and the economy.
Preparing ahead can save lives! As we all continue to respond to COVID-19 and knowing that the virus’ spread is related to human behaviour, we need to take time to plan, communicate, and to encourage a behavioural change and collaboration from all our employees and families.
In working towards slowing the spread of COVID 19, it is essential to prepare ahead for any changes by keeping up to date with the guidance from provincial and national authorities. Small actions matter. For example, staying home when you are ill and monitoring any health symptoms can ensure that the dealership, staff, and customers are all prepared to participate in dealership activities with confidence.
Advise your employees to work remotely if possible and have virtual meetings and training whenever the opportunity is available. Because the spread of COVID 19 can occur even when people are not aware that they are carriers, everyone doing their part to follow guidelines and safety measures is critical.
In order to ensure that your dealership can remain fully functional, here are some tips to be prepared:
1) Ensure all staff are fully trained before returning to regular duties, this includes training on PPE and new guidelines.
2)Help employees with tips for a safe workstation and check on them regularly, keep in mind safety measures such as wearing a face covering, staying at least 6 feet (about 2 meters) away from other people, having hand sanitizer available and washing your hands frequently.
3)Most importantly, reinforce the safety measures for the wellbeing of workers and everyone around them.
4)Finally, be ready and prepare your workers for sudden changes. Be aware of the kind of accommodation or specific training people might need. Communicate often, remind employees of resources that are available to them. Develop workplace controls such as engineering control, administrative control, and safe work practices. By doing so, you demonstrate to your employees that you are well prepared and that you prioritize their wellbeing, even during a significant disruption.