Going Back to Work Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic caused thousands of businesses in Pennsylvania to temporarily shut down or operate at reduced capacity. Many of these businesses – particularly those in the yellow and green phases – are starting to reopen gradually, as the government has lifted its stay-at-home and business closure orders in many counties.
With businesses reopening, employers have a duty to provide a clean, safe, and hazard-free environment for their workers. Apart from following OSHA’s guidelines regarding workplace safety, they are also required to take additional steps to prevent the spread of the virus at the workplace.
Steps Employers can Take to Protect Workers from Covid Illness
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, faucets, sinks, switches, phones, desks, chairs, touch screens, and keyboards.
- Implementing temperature checks at the workplace.
- Insisting employees to maintain social distancing at the workplace to the extent possible.
- Minimizing in-person meetings to the extent possible.
- Prohibiting employees from shaking hands with each other as well as with customers or visitors.
- Allowing employees to work remotely whenever possible.
- Scheduling breaks for employees at regular intervals so that they can wash their hands and disinfect the tools they use.
- Prohibiting the entry of non-essential visitors into the workplace.
- Sending home any worker who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 infection and advising them to follow the CDC’s guidelines regarding home isolation.
Appropriate PPE should be Arranged for Workers
Employers must provide masks, gloves, safety goggles, and other such personal protective equipment for the workforce. The personal protective equipment must be designed to meet their specific needs. For instance, if there is a risk of fogging, employees must be provided with anti-fog safety glasses.
Providing the right-sized gloves is also equally important. If the gloves are loose, the employee might not be able to grip things properly. It can increase the risk of workplace accidents greatly. PPE should be of reliable quality for adequate protection as well as for preventing skin infection and irritation.
What Happens If You Suffer a Work-Related Injury?
If your employer fails to implement the aforementioned guidelines, and if you are injured or infected as a result, you may have the right to receive workers’ compensation.
The PA Workers’ compensation system is designed to benefit employees as well as employers. The employee who suffers a work-related injury can receive the treatment and the compensation they need while the employer is protected from being sued by the employee.
In some cases, your employer and their insurance company might be willing to settle the case by offering you a lump sum payment. In such cases, it is critical to have a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer by your side, as they can negotiate with your employer and make sure you receive adequate compensation.
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you have suffered a work-related injury or have become infected with the Covid-19 virus, you might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Paula Robinson, Esq. can represent you, aggressively fight for your rights, and make sure you are fully compensated for lost wages.
Over her career spanning three decades, Paula Robinson, Esq. has represented a large number of workers in Pennsylvania and recovered substantial amounts of compensation for injured workers.
If you want to discuss your work-related injury with Paula Robinson and find out whether you can receive compensation, call Robinson Law LLC at 215-530-7166 or 570-855-9475.