Covid-19 Response Plan
COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan
FIBER-SEAL NORTHEAST (hereinafter “Company”) takes the health and safety of our employees very seriously. With the spread of the coronavirus or “COVID-19,” a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Company must remain vigilant in mitigating the outbreak. In order to be safe and maintain operations, we have developed this COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan to be implemented, to the extent feasible and appropriate, throughout the Company and at all of our jobsites. The Company has also identified a team of employees to monitor the related guidance that U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) continue to make available.
This Plan is based on information available from the CDC and OSHA at the time of its development, and is subject to change based on further information provided by the CDC, OSHA, and other public officials. The Company may also amend this Plan based on operational needs.
The Company policy describes the measures we are actively taking to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Employees are required to follow all these rules diligently in order to maintain a healthy and safe workplace in this unique environment. It’s important that we all respond responsibly and transparently to these precautions.
These Coronavirus policies apply to all of our employees, Office Administrators who physically report to our office, Technicians who work in the field and Salespeople who work both at home and in the field.
Guidelines for Appointment Confirmations
When confirming customer appointments, the following questions must be answered. Appointments may be re-scheduled depending on the answers:
- Our service offering is no contact appointments, requiring 6’ social distance. All customers interacting with our employees will be asked to wear a mask and payments must be made by online credit card payment or mailed by check. Do you agree?
- Has anyone in the home been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Has anyone experienced flu-like symptoms, loss of taste or smell, or unusual coughing in the past 14 days?
- Our technicians may use your bathroom to dispose of water and for personal hygiene reasons. Will you agree to this?
Commuting and Travel Measures
- In-person meetings including estimates and consultations will be replaced with videoconference meetings such as Zoom, Facetime, Viber or other video conferencing whenever possible.
- If you normally commute to work using public transportation and do not have other alternatives, you are required to use company provided PPE during your commute.
- If you are planning to travel voluntarily to a high-risk country with increased COVID-19 cases, we’ll ask you to work from home for 14 calendar days. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time.
- In person meetings will be cancelled/postponed until further notice.
Six (6) Feet Social Distancing
- Social Distancing is expected at all times for all employees wherever possible. Masks are required where social distancing is not possible.
- Office staff is encouraged to use the phone system for internal communication and wear cloth or other masks if they feel that makes them more comfortable.
- Technicians in two person crews will be expected to wear cloth or other masks at all times where social distancing is not possible such as in company vehicles. Masks will be provided for customer interactions.
Sick Leave Arrangements
- If you have cold symptoms, such as cough/sneezing/fever, or feel poorly, please request sick leave. Certain job types will have the option to work from home if possible but this is subject to management discussion and cannot be guaranteed.
- If you have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, you can return to the office only after you’ve fully recovered, with a doctor’s note confirming your recovery.
Special Accommodations for Fiber-Seal Employees
- Office Staff - If you are feeling ill, but you are able to work, you can request to work from home if possible but this is subject to management discussion and cannot be guaranteed. We will do our best to accommodate these requests.
- If you have recently returned from areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases (based on CDC announcements), you will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues for 14 days. You can request to work from home if possible but this is subject to management discussion and cannot be guaranteed. We will do our best to accommodate these requests.
- If you’ve been in close contact with someone infected by COVID-19 you will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues for 14 days. You can request to work from home if possible, but this is subject to management discussion and cannot be guaranteed. We will do our best to accommodate these requests.
- If you’re a parent and you have to stay at home with your children, follow up with your manager to make arrangements and set expectations. You can request to work from home if possible but this is subject to management discussion and cannot be guaranteed. We will do our best to accommodate these requests.
- If you must provide care to a family member infected by COVID-19, request work from home. You will only be permitted to return to the office 14 calendar days after your family member has fully recovered, and you have a doctors’ note confirming you do not have the virus.
Responsibilities of Managers and Supervisors
All managers and supervisors must be familiar with this Plan and be ready to answer questions from employees. Managers and supervisors must set a good example by following this Plan at all times. This involves practicing good personal hygiene and jobsite safety practices to prevent the spread of the virus. Managers and supervisors must encourage this same behavior from all employees.
Responsibilities of Employees and Protective Measures
The Company is asking every one of our employees to help with our prevention efforts while at work. In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 at our jobsites, everyone must play their part. As set forth below, the Company has instituted various housekeeping, social distancing, and other best practices at our jobsites. All employees must follow these. In addition, employees are expected to report to their managers or supervisors if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as described below. If you have a specific question about this Plan or COVID-19, please ask your manager or supervisor. If they cannot answer the question, please contact the General Manager.
OSHA and the CDC have provided the following control and preventative guidance for all workers, regardless of exposure risk:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Follow appropriate respiratory etiquette, which includes covering for coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
In addition, employees must familiarize themselves with the symptoms of COVID-19, which include the following:
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and early symptoms such as chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose.
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, DO NOT GO TO WORK and call your supervisor and healthcare provider right away. Likewise, if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms, call your supervisor and healthcare provider right away.
The Company has instituted the following protective measures at all jobsites.
- All technicians will be expected to wear appropriate masks at all times where social distancing is not possible such as two person crews in company vehicles. Masks will be provided for customer interactions. These masks are not readily available and should be guarded closely.
- Beards or other facial hair are discouraged. They will interfere with the performance of the masks. Employees who chose to have facial hair or allow their facial hair to grow will be asked to sign a Hazard Waiver to acknowledge that the employee made a personal choice to disregard this request.
- Technicians who work alone will be expected to wear appropriate masks at all times where social distancing is not possible when around other people.
- The following are provided by Fiber-Seal Northeast and are required to be used for every job.
- Latex Gloves, to be used and changed after every job.
- Safety Glasses, to be used for every job and cleaned as needed.
- Booties, to be used and changed after every job.
- Personal protection facial mask - Re-usable Safety Mask; to be used for work purposes on every job and stored in the case provided when not in use. One mask will be issued and be the responsibility of the employee to safeguard when not in use. These masks are to be used for Fiber-Seal Northeast work only and are required every day.
- Respirator, to be used where required.
- At any time if an employee is uncomfortable, they are to politely excuse themselves from the situation and call the salesperson or manager. If neither are available, please call the General Manager.
- All estimates will be done via Face-time, Zoom or other video conference type as often as possible.
- All equipment will be sanitized between jobs
- Cleaning care kits will be left in the home. Technicians are asked to prepare the kits in advance. Salespeople will explain the kits or clients may link to our You-Tube channel for a kit video explanation.
General Safety Policies and Rules including Hygiene and Others
- All employees are required to maintain a daily body temperature log to reduce the chances that a sick employee attends work. This log will be provided and may be requested by management if needed. Body temperature above 99 degrees Fahrenheit will require a sick day by employee.
- Hand washing for 20 seconds is imperative, after bathroom use, before eating, and if you cough/sneeze into your hand. You can also use the sanitizers that are provided at the office and in company vehicles.
- Please cough/sneeze into your sleeve, preferably into your elbow. If you use a tissue, discard it properly and clean/sanitize your hands immediately.
- Open the windows regularly to ensure ventilation.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to prevent infection.
- If you find yourself coughing/sneezing on a regular basis, avoid close physical contact with your coworkers and take extra precautionary measures (such as requesting sick leave).
- Any employee/contractor/visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave the jobsite and return home.
- Safety meetings will be by telephone, if possible. During any in-person safety meetings, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, and participants must remain at least six (6) feet apart.
- Employees must avoid physical contact with others and shall direct others (co- workers/customers/visitors) to increase personal space to at least six (6) feet, where possible.
- All in-person meetings will be limited. To the extent possible, meetings will be conducted by telephone.
- The Company understands that due to the nature of our work, access to running water for hand washing may be impracticable. In these situations, the Company will provide, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and/or wipes.
- Employees should limit the use of co-workers’ tools and equipment. To the extent tools must be shared, the Company will provide alcohol-based wipes or other disinfectant to clean tools before and after use.
- In lieu of using a common source of drinking water, such as a cooler, employees should use individual water bottles.
Workers entering Occupied Building and Homes
- During work, employees must sanitize the work areas upon arrival, throughout the workday, and immediately before departure. The Company will provide alcohol-based wipes for this purpose.
- Employees should ask other occupants to keep a personal distance of six (6) feet at a minimum. Workers should wash or sanitize hands immediately before starting and after completing the work.
NOTE: The CDC is currently not recommending that healthy people wear N95
Jobsite Exposure Situations
• Employee Exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms
If an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, the employee must remain at home until he or she is symptom free for 72 hours (3 full days) without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants). The Company will similarly require an employee who reports to work with symptoms to return home until he or she is symptom free for 72 hours (3 full days). Employees are required to obtain a doctor’s note clearing them to return to work.
• Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 will be directed to self-quarantine away from work. Employees that test positive and are symptom free may return to work when at least 14 days have passed since the date of his or her first positive test,and without a subsequent illness. Employees who test positive and are directed to care for themselves at home may return to work when a doctors note is provided with return to work directive. Employees who test positive and have been hospitalized may return to work when directed to do so by their medical care providers. The Company will require an employee to provide documentation clearing his or her return to work.
• Employee Has Close Contact with an Individual Who Has Tested Positive for COVID-19
Employees who have come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 (co-worker or otherwise) will be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that individual. Close contact is defined as six (6) feet for a prolonged period of time.
If the Company learns that an employee has tested positive, the Company will conduct an investigation to determine co-workers who may have had close contact with the confirmed- positive employee in the prior 14 days and direct those individuals who have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that employee. If applicable, the Company will also notify any customers or visitors who may have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee. If an employee learns that he or she has come into close contact with a confirmed-positive individual outside of the workplace, he/she must alert a manager or supervisor of the close contact and self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that individual.
Recovery is defined as: (1) resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and (2) improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
Except for circumstances in which the Company is legally required to report workplace occurrences of communicable disease, the confidentiality of all medical conditions will be maintained in accordance with applicable law and to the extent practical under the circumstances. When it is required, the number of persons who will be informed that an unnamed employee has tested positive will be kept to the minimum needed to comply with reporting requirements and to limit the potential for transmission to others. The Company reserves the right to inform other employees that an unnamed co-worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19 if the other employees might have been exposed to the disease so the employees may take measures to protect their own health. The Company also reserves the right to inform customers or visitors that an unnamed employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 if they might have been exposed to the disease so those individuals may take measures to protect their own health.
Given the fast-developing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Company may modify this Plan on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions concerning this Plan, please contact the General Manager.
COVID-19 Checklist for Employers and Employees
Know the Symptoms of COVID-19
- Coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
- Early symptoms may include chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, DO NOT GO TO WORK and call your supervisor and health-care provider immediately. Do the same thing if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms.
- Develop a COVID-19 Exposure Action Plan.
- Conduct safety meetings by phone if possible. If not, instruct employees to maintain six (6) feet between each other.
- Access to the job site will be limited to only those necessary for the work. All visitors will be pre-screened to ensure they are not exhibiting symptoms.
- Employees, contractors, and visitors will be asked to leave the jobsite and return home if they are showing symptoms.
- Provide hand sanitizer and maintain Safety Data Sheets of all disinfectants used on site.
- Provide protective equipment (PPE) to any employees assigned cleaning/disinfecting tasks.
- Become familiar with the Exposure Action Plan and follow all elements of the Plan.
- Practice good hygiene: wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If these are not available, use alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, food, etc. with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home—DO NOT GO TO WORK.
- Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
General Job Site / Office Practices
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, use products, which will be provided by the Company, that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 – the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
- Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used tools and equipment on a regular basis.
- Disinfect shared surfaces (door handles, machinery controls, etc.) on a regular basis.
What is COVID-19?
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is one of seven types of known human coronaviruses. COVID-19, like the MERS and SARS coronaviruses, likely evolved from a virus previously found in animals. The remaining known coronaviruses cause a significant percentage of colds in adults and children, and these are not a serious threat for otherwise healthy adults.
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Chinese authorities identified an outbreak caused by a novel—or new—coronavirus. The virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. The outbreak began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has spread to a growing number of other countries—including the United States.
How is COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19, like other viruses, can spread between people. Infected people can spread COVID-19 through their respiratory secretions, especially when they cough or sneeze. According to the CDC, spread from person-to-person is most likely among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like influenza and other respiratory pathogens. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It is currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
In assessing potential hazards, employers should consider whether their workers may encounter someone infected with COVID-19 in the course of their duties. Employers should also determine if workers could be exposed to environments (e.g., worksites) or materials (e.g., laboratory samples, waste) contaminated with the virus.
Depending on the work setting, employers may also rely on identification of sick individuals who have signs, symptoms, and/or a history of travel to COVID-19-affected areas that indicate potential infection with the virus, in order to help identify exposure risks for workers and implement appropriate control measures.
There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.