3 Steps to Get Your Remote Crew Back to Work Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Are fast-shifting COVID-19 mandates gumming up logistics for your remote workforce? Industries from maritime and aviation to manufacturing and construction have had to react quickly to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Companies across the country are relying on general state guidance or finding their own way with return to work guidelines. Industries with remote and mobile workforces have a special challenge as they move bodies from city to city or port to port. What does your unique organization need to do to get back to work safely and sustainably? 

Step 1: Develop COVID-19 response procedures customized to your operations.

This is arguably the most daunting task of all. Luckily, Seattle-based medical risk management firm Discovery Health MD stayed ahead of the curve in the maritime industry as they helped cargo vessels calling on ports in China navigate the beginnings of the outbreak. Discovery Health MD and their team of doctors developed general procedural guidelines for numerous work environments. These documents are available for download and are intended to be a starting point for organizations in the maritime industry. Discovery Health MD is available for consulting and has helped organizations from transportation to craft brewing customize their procedures. 

Step 2: Coordinate COVID-19 testing procedures that comply with local mandates and protect your crew.

How is your organization’s home state handling testing and quarantine requirements? If your workforce is mobile, you need to have a handle on this information to protect your crew from infection and you from liability.

The state of Alaska recently enacted a mandate requiring all non-residents traveling to or through the state to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered within 72 hours of arrival to the state. Anyone who arrives who does not have the required documentation must pay for a test at the airport and quarantine while awaiting results, which could take days. 

What if your crew doesn’t arrive through the airport? Should they be the ones to worry about making sure they’re tested if they’re arriving in a state to work for you? What about workers who need to be tested before reporting but already live in the state? It’s worth it to your team members to make sure they know exactly how and when they’ll be tested and who is paying for it before they arrive in any state with testing requirements. 

Step 3: Establish initial and ongoing fitness for duty protocols.

We now live in a world afflicted by a global pandemic. Now more than ever, fitness for duty protocols are necessary to keep your workforce safe, healthy and on the job. Industries that may have never had fitness for duty protocols may now find they need them. Determine your organization’s fitness for duty requirements with the help of medical doctors experienced in identifying risks in your workplace. 

Let Seattle-based medical risk management firm Discovery Health MD streamline your return-to-work procedures and protect your team. 

About the Author:

Discovery Health MD is a Seattle-based medical risk management and consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations mitigate medical risk among large mobile and remote workforces. They have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. They leverage the expertise of a seasoned team of medical professionals and close ties with local academic institutions to streamline back-to-work protocols and testing options for the maritime industry and beyond.

Related Articles