Bearingstar’s Guide to Reopening Your Business
Many businesses in Massachusetts and Connecticut are starting to open their doors again with each state’s phased reopening plans, and many employees are eager to get back to work. However, after months of being closed or working under reduced operations, reopening a business requires careful thought and consideration — not only to protect employees but also to protect your business. Safety is our top priority here at Bearingstar and we are here to offer guidance and insight to help you transition to our ‘new normal’. In order to make reopening as smooth as possible, here are some tips to prevent any interruptions or delays in getting back to business:
If your place of business was closed during the majority of quarantine, it is important to make sure untouched areas have been updated. We recommend having an exterior inspection done to ensure your building has no damage and is safe for customers and employees. The inspection should be conducted to review your roof and siding, walking and driving surfaces, entryways and parking areas, security camera operation, and parking lot lighting.
INTERIOR BUILDING & MECHANICAL SYSTEMS
Along with the exterior, consider having an interior inspection for roof leaks and general conditions. While your business was closed, you want to make sure nothing has molded or no animals have made the walls of your business their home. This includes any evidence of rodent/insect infestations or vandalism. As well, it’s important to confirm the proper operation of all lighting and mechanical/HVAC systems and circuit breakers are working to avoid any further delays in opening your business.
NEW & RETURNING EMPLOYEES
As your staff begins to return to your place of business, it is essential to establish proper protocols for employee and customer safety. We recommended having a COVID-19 preparedness, response, and control plan in place. This will allow for all staff and visitors to feel safe and prepared when visiting your business. If you don’t have a plan in place, we encourage all employers to implement and update as necessary a plan that:
- Is specific to your workplace
- Identifies all areas and job tasks with potential exposures to COVID-19
- Includes control measures to eliminate or reduce such exposures
Make sure all security systems are up and running. This will help protect you against theft or damage to your business, as well as preventable claims. You can do this by testing security system cameras, motion/perimeter sensors, fire/smoke alarms, computer/cash register, and internet accessibility. Install these items as you deem necessary.
PATRON SAFETY & SECURITY
Always make sure to check with local/state authorities or the CDC and implement current requirements for your specific business. As well, make sure there is adequate life safety in place. Life safety is any interior building element designed to protect and evacuate the building population in emergencies, so it is, therefore, important to make sure there are no blocked exit doors, egress pathways, etc. Make sure high-traffic areas are properly cleaned to reduce the spread of germs. This includes:
- Cleaning of all public restrooms
- Consider assigning employee(s) to frequently re-clean high touchpoints in common areas while the building is open
As businesses begin to reopen, Bearingstar is here to help with the re-entry process. Make sure to consult with your insurance agent prior to and during your reopening for guidance specific to your business. Contact us today to get started.