Foundation Technologies is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our workers. To ensure that, we have developed the following Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers and workers are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces, and that requires full cooperation among workers and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our staff and workplaces.
Management and staff are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this Preparedness Plan. Foundation Technologies leadership has our full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy.
Our staff are our most important assets. We are serious about safety and health and keeping our workers working at Foundation Technologies. Staff involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our staff in this process by actively engaging with our staff, collecting input, and ensuring that all are comfortable with our actions prior to implementing too broad of a policy. Our Preparedness Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines and federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and addresses:
- hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
- engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
- housekeeping – cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination;
- prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
- communications and training that will be provided to managers and workers; and
- management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.
Screening and policies for employees exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Staff have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess workers’ health status prior to entering the workplace and for workers to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms. Our staff will be self-identifying, and self-reporting on their temperature before any client visit, or entrance into our office. We do not ask staff to disclose their temperature, however they are required to notify their manager for any temperature that is above 99° and stay home if that is the case. Notification is handled through internal systems like Slack and email.
Foundation Technologies has implemented leave policies that promote workers staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household. If any staff is required to stay at home, but not symptomatic, their work can continue remotely. For any staff who cannot complete their work activities due to COVID-19 or quarantine requirements, no deductions from standard Paid Time Off hours shall occur, and staff are paid per FFCRA requirements, for the health and safety of our community. Accommodations for workers with underlying medical conditions or who have household members with underlying health conditions have been implemented. Staff who self-identify as at risk are not required to leave their home and risk any exposure to themselves or their families.
Foundation Technologies has also implemented a policy for informing workers if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time. If any staff has been directly exposed to a known case of COVID-19, they are required to self-quarantine for no less than 14-days.
In addition, a policy has been implemented to protect the privacy of workers’ health status and health information. All staff is to manage their own temperature readings, and only to disclose to their direct manager any escalations, or exposures to COVID-19.
Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our workplaces at all times. Workers are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift, prior to any mealtimes and after using the toilet. All visitors to the facility will be required to wash their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility. Some workplaces may have hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) that can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled.
Our office has ample supply of both soap and sanitizer for our staff use and has identified proper supply chains for their replenishment.
Respiratory etiquette: Cover your cough or sneeze
Workers and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in the trash and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all workers and visitors. All staff meetings this message has been relayed, and all staff has been offered cotton facemasks upon request at no cost to them.
Social distancing is being implemented in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls:
• Our staff will default to telework
• We have no more than three staff in either space at our office at any time
• All seating is no less than 6’ in distance from the next desk
• PPE including masks and gloves have been provided to all staff upon request
• When visiting a client, we encourage the use of PPE
• We ask that all clients we visit to all have similar policies
• All staff meetings will be via remote means until further notice
• Visitors and clients will not be allowed in our office
• We encourage the use of stairs, rather than elevators
• All computer repairs must be either brought by our staff, couriered or shipped via FedEx or UPS to limit both our staff, and our clients exposure
• Communication updates are done regularly both internally and to our clients via email and social media
Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, and meeting rooms. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, etc. Our office is cleaned on a regular basis by a third party, and as needed additionally by internal staff.
Communications and training
This Preparedness Plan was communicated via email to all workers on 4/27/2020 and necessary training was provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing during staff meetings and as needed and provided to all workers who did not receive the initial training. Managers are to monitor how effective the program has been implemented by encouraging and increasing communication to staff and continue to gather feedback. Management and staff are to work through this new program together and update the training as necessary. This Preparedness Plan has been certified by Foundation Technologies management and was posted throughout the workplace 4/27/2020 digitally. It will be updated as necessary.
Jim Wolford, CEO and Owner