Is Your Business Ready for a Pandemic? Follow these strategies to maintain business operations and ensure worker safety and health.
Pandemic outbreaks can lead to the spread of fear and panic. It’s important for businesses to develop strategies to maintain operations, ensure worker safety and health and limit negative impacts on the economy and the community. The following are some important activities your business can take to prepare for a pandemic.
Prepare your business
- Identify essential employees and other critical resources — equipment, materials, services — needed to maintain business operations.
- Develop an emergency communications plan that includes key contacts and a chain of communications. Revise the plan periodically and update as needed.
Establish workplace policies
- Implement practices for preventing the spread of infectious disease at your workplace — such as respiratory hygiene practices and prompt exclusion of people showing symptoms.
- Establish policies and practices for worksite flexibility, such as telecommuting and flexible work hours.
- Determine guidelines for limiting travel to infected areas, evacuating employees from infected areas and procedures for employees returning from infected areas.
Protect employees and customers
- Provide sufficient and accessible infection control supplies — hand hygiene products and tissues — at all business locations.
- Ensure that communications and information technology infrastructures are in place to support telecommuting and remote access.
- Provide for the availability of medical consultation and advice for emergency response.
Communicate and educate
- Distribute your pandemic preparedness and response plan to all employees. Meet at least once a year to reinforce the plan.
- Develop and disseminate information covering pandemic basics — such as symptoms and modes of transmission, as well as prevention and response strategies.
- Identify and share resources — hotlines, a dedicated website, local health agencies — that contain information on the pandemic status and response activities.
Work with insurers, local healthcare facilities, emergency responders as well as public health agencies in developing your pandemic preparedness and response plan. Collaborate with other area businesses and associations to improve community response efforts.
Additionally, YEC has included some resources here with links from the state of South Carolina and the U.S. government regarding small business assistance, insurance and tax assistance, and employment resources.