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As South Florida counties become the last in the state to initiate re-opening procedures, we have pored over Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s reopening guidelines document to pull out the best practices and recommendations for logistics companies. Are things going to change noticeably in the way we work? Perhaps. Are you alone in working to implement these changes? Far from it. 

While local ordinances may vary from municipality to municipality, these are good guidelines to follow as we approach the careful task of reopening our offices and places of business.

General guidelines/procedures for all businesses: 

  • Enhanced sanitization of all common areas and frequent touchpoints 
  • Placement of trash containers for face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) near exits, entrances, and common areas 
  • Comprehensive cleaning of facilities must be performed each night and include thorough disinfecting of all frequent touchpoints and emptying all trash receptacles using solid waste bags that are double-bagged and securely sealed 
  • Installation of hand sanitizer at entry points and throughout the site 
  • Training of all personnel in new operating protocols and modifications to existing codes of conduct to deal with COVID19 issues

Businesses and workplaces must implement certain procedures: 

  • Design workgroup shifts to minimize contact between employees and ensure easier tracking and tracing, as possible, and implement staggered breaks to reduce large group gatherings 
  • Avoid meetings of more than 5 participants and encouraging virtual meetings 
  • Reduce seating in breakrooms and common areas to ensure minimum 6’ physical distance 
  • Allow non-core functions to work from home, as possible 
  • Implement testing programs for high-risk employees 
  • Establish clear reporting protocols based on leading (e.g., thermometer temp spikes, thermal scanning spikes, increased absenteeism) and lagging indicators (e.g., staff health visits above pre-defined rate, community spread in retail locale) to help prevent the spread of cases  
  • Post a contact email address and/or telephone number for employees/customers to contact if they have questions or concerns  
  • If faced with infection, immediately report the number of infected, timing of infection, and proposed remediation plan to relevant local authorities. All staff must be tested, deep-sanitization of workplace must be conducted, and entire office building including non-affected offices must be closed until all common areas are sanitized 

General Workplace: 

  • Workforce protection  
    • Facial coverings must be worn inside businesses and commercial establishments or wherever social distancing is not possible  
    • Mandatory 14-day quarantine for all at-risk employees  
    • Provide or coordinate safe transportation to work allowing for social distancing  
    • Allow for flexible schedules for childcare and sick time  
    • Staggered breaks to reduce large group gatherings  
    • Install hand sanitizer at entry points and through site  
  • Employee protection  
    • Enforce personal protective equipment (e.g., facemasks, gloves)  
    • Ensure employees (and customers) stay more than 6 feet apart (use visual markers to help with implementation)  
    • Enhanced sanitization of all common areas/touchpoints (doors, stairwell handles, light switch, elevator switch, etc.)  
    • Procure increased amounts of soap, hand sanitizer, cleaning materials, and protective equipment  
  • Non-employee Protection  
    • Visually mark separation 6ft apart for areas where people would group (e.g., queues and elevators)  
    • Discourage entry to site of visitors and contractors, unless needed for operations  
    • Discourage car valet parking  
    • Setup self-checkout lines and contactless payments, as applicable 

Workforce protection: 

  • Install hand sanitizing dispensers or make sanitizer available at entrances and in common areas  
  • Establish sign-in stations or checkpoints for employees with health questionnaire on symptoms  
  • Encourage employees to self-identify and report symptoms before returning to work 
  • Perform deep disinfection of stored goods between shifts (i.e., mechanical sprayer / thermal foggers) 

Business Process adaptations 

  • Mark with arrows entry and exit points, creating one-way circulation paths inside warehouses  
  • Ensure acquisition of enough equipment to be able to limit workers from sharing; institute policies to sanitize equipment where sharing of equipment is unavoidable  
  • Institute protocols for touchless paperwork, including acquiring tablet computers, or setting guidelines for employees to use their own emails or mobile phones if necessary 
  • Change and/or upgrade site HVAC filters (per OSHA guidance)  
  • Remove public seating areas, if possible, and enforce distancing through signaling  
  • Acquire necessary technology to enable adoption of contactless payment mechanisms (e.g., credit cards) for delivery and drop-offs

Employee Protection 

  • Ensure enough masks available for all employees that are in contact with other people (including office workers, warehouse workers unable to social distance, and customer-facing shipping and delivery workers), as well as sufficient quantities of soap, hand sanitizer, gloves as necessary 
  • Have employees plan on working remotely when and where possible, and encourage employees to stay home if sick or caring for a family member  
  • Acquire uniforms to supply employees with enough uniforms to be able to wear a clean uniform each shift  
  • Restructure shifts, reducing overlap and staggering break times to ensure social distancing once employees return  
  • Barriers between all workstations  
  • Divide critical function teams with groups alternating work in-office or using satellite sites  

Non-employee Protection 

  • Place signs notifying visitors, other non-employees of strict PPE requirements (i.e., masks for all visitors); ensure signs are posted in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Creole)  
  • Use supplier and customer networks to inform non-employees of new safeguarding protocols  
  • Streamline visiting process and communicate to employees, including no-contact warehouse pickups and no in-person supplier/distributor meetings 

Employer-led public health interventions 

  • Establish trainings for all personnel in new operating protocols and modifications to existing codes of conduct to deal with Covid-19 issues 
  • Post CDC signage in publicly trafficked locations emphasizing measures to “Stop the Spread of Germs” (CDC) and exercise social responsibility (e.g., hygiene)  
  • Design workgroup shifts to ensure easier tracking and tracing, and design no-overlap shifts  
  • Acquire contactless (or regular, with heavy sanitization protocols) thermometers for daily employee checkin monitoring of temperatures  
  • Evaluate the need for testing program for highrisk employees (e.g., frequent contact with customers or suppliers; travel between sites; direct contact delivery)  

Industry-wide safeguards 

  • Clean and disinfect multi-touch equipment like handgripscarts, steering wheels, pallet trucks, etc. every time a user changes and after each shift  
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer between deliveries and utilize alternative delivery options to minimize personal contact (i.e. pick up and drop off locations) and touchless paperwork and confirmations  
  • Acknowledge in writing the review and understanding of relevant industry association and union organizations guidelines, including capability checklists and reference to WHO, DOH, and CDC guidelines  
  • Establish protocol to immediately disclose infection to state DOH bodies and procedure to safeguard store (e.g., deep cleaning)  
  • Set up clear reporting protocols based on leading (e.g., thermometer temp spikes, thermal scanning spikes, increased absenteeism) and lagging indicators (e.g., staff health visits above pre-defined rate, community spread in retail locale) 

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