Business After a Pandemic: Tips on How to Keep Safety Top of Mind When Reopening Your Business
As the saying goes, change can provide new opportunities to better ourselves, our businesses, and our communities!
Restarting any business after an idle period or shutdown does require a bit of planning to help keep your employees and staff safe; not just from a lingering COVID-19, but from neglected equipment and other hazards on site.
Read on for things to consider as you begin to reopen your facility after a major shutdown.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching and unexpected impacts on the world’s economy. If they could, businesses transitioned to predominately remote operations to help protect workers and comply with mandated lockdown orders.
As the process of reopening begins in many regions of our nation, it is important to educate your staff on new policies, practices, or workforce safety protocols that will be set in place moving forward in order to ensure the health, wellness, and happiness of both your employees and your customers.
Restarting Equipment After Shutdown
Perhaps your business was required to shut down completely, leaving machinery and vital equipment sitting idle in your facility. If you have already been given the green light to open, still consider the following tips to help keep your business, well, in business!
Stagnant water – After a prolonged period of time, unused water can be a breeding ground for mold or legionella. Plumbing can be an issue during extended closures! Consider getting the water lines flushed or cleaned by a professional to ensure the water is safe for use. Aside from the microbial effects of stagnant water, water can also damage equipment leading to corrosion, leaching of metals into the water, disinfection by-products, and sewer gases that enter buildings through dry, sanitary sewer drain traps. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has created guidance for these scenarios.
HVAC systems – If the HVAC system was shut down during the pandemic, be sure to have a qualified professional inspect and service the equipment as soon as possible, as HVAC systems can create excessive condensation, may damage electrical equipment if temperature isn’t properly maintained, and can grow mold and other bacteria, as well.
Sanitizing stations – Many businesses are installing sanitizers to aid in protecting employees and customers, but increased amount of this highly flammable liquid can prove deadly if not stored and maintained properly.
Cleaning solutions – Aside from the increased amount of cleaning products that will be required for your business to meet the updated regulations and guidelines for sanitization of your facility, mixing solutions can cause more harm than good.
Other scenarios – We understand the overwhelming items piling on your to-do list. Don’t forget these!
- There are still travel bans which can change quite often, so if you will need products or equipment serviced by traveling technicians, be sure to do your research!
- Supply chain interruptions will affect the availability of parts and materials needed for your business. These interruptions will also cause shipping delays, so be mindful of those interruptions when communicating with customers or staff.
- Be sure to schedule maintenance that may have been deferred due to the pandemic.
Things will be different. Going in to the reopening of your business with that mindset will better prepare you for tackling your to-do list! As the saying goes, change can provide new opportunities to better ourselves, our businesses, and our communities!