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Most employers drafting their own return-to-work plans: Survey

Workplace Safety

Most employers are creating their own return-to-work strategies and few have returned their full workforce to the office, according to a survey released Thursday by Philadelphia-based law firm Blank Rome LLP.

The firm surveyed executives at 150 businesses in a variety of industries in July, revealing that 70% of employers are developing their own written return-to-work strategies based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their own state and local executive orders.

Some 92% of the executives said their companies are requiring masks and social distancing and 93% said their companies have enhanced cleaning protocols, the survey revealed. A little more than one-third said their firms will attempt to conduct contact tracing after an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

More than one-half require daily temperature checks and a daily health screening, but fewer than 2% are requiring coronavirus or antibody testing.

However, about one-half of employers said they had 15% or fewer of their workforce on site, and just 19% said that three-quarters to all their employees were back at the workplace.

About 8% of employers said they are mandating that employees sign waivers before returning to the workplace, but 73% said they were not pursuing employee waivers at the time.

About 20% of employers said they received COVID-19 related complaints in July; about 16% were for alleged Occupational Safety and Health Act violations, 10% or fewer for discrimination or retaliation, and the majority labeled as “other.”

Slightly more than one-half of employers believe they could get back to “business as usual” in less than one month if the pandemic ended, and 57% admitted that they are “less hopeful” that things are beginning to return to normal then they were in Blank Rome’s April survey of executives.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here