Amy K: CU Lobby Reopening Considerations
by Amy Kleinschmit
Chief Compliance Officer
5/1/2020

With the Dakotas abuzz with getting back to a new “normal” and businesses beginning to reopen for customers, credit unions are also thinking about what the next steps for reopening their lobbies should be. Chances are the credit union lobby will not look the same as it did only a couple months ago as COVID-19 is not gone. Staff and members’ safety must be maintained!

Remember to follow any local state and municipality guidance/requirements. For example, Sioux Falls has its own SOAR policies/recommendations for businesses in addition to state guidance so be sure to check with your local city for additional guidelines.

The CDC has recently issued Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes which can be found here. This document provides a general framework for cleaning and disinfection practices. 

Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces in your credit union will require you to: Develop your plan; implement your plan; and maintain and revise your plan. These plan elements are discussed in greater detail at the above link.

Remember – your plan should include considerations about the safety of custodial staff and other people who are carrying out the cleaning or disinfecting. These people are at increased risk of being exposed to the virus and to any toxic effects of the cleaning chemicals. These staff should wear appropriate PPE for cleaning and disinfecting. To protect your staff and to ensure that the products are used effectively, staff should be instructed on how to apply the disinfectants according to the label.

Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will need routine disinfection following reopening are:

  • tables,
  • doorknobs,
  • light switches,
  • countertops,
  • handles,
  • desks,
  • phones,
  • keyboards,
  • toilets,
  • faucets and sinks,
  • touch screens, and
  • ATM machines.

Additional CDC guidance for businesses and employers can be found here.

CDC guidance on cleaning and disinfecting if someone is sick can be found here.

OSHA has issued Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 which can be found here.

Employers, such as credit unions, need to continue taking steps to reduce workers’ risk of exposure to COVID-19 in their workplace. Basic infection prevention measures should be implemented, if they haven’t already.

  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing staff, members and visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Provide customers and the public with tissues and trash receptacles.
  • Employers should explore whether they can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies.
  • Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.

Credit unions may also consider implementing certain workplace controls such as engineering controls, administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE – or a combination of these. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of control measure when considering the ease of implementation, effectiveness, and cost.

Engineering controls include things like installing high-efficiency air filters; increasing ventilation rates in the work environment; and/or installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards.

Safe work practices examples include providing resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene. For example, provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces. Require regular hand washing or using alcohol-based hand rubs, and post handwashing signs in restrooms.

Additional Resources:

CDC Poster/Printer Resources

SD COVID-19 Resources

SD Social Distancing at Work Poster  

Sioux Falls business guidance and SOAR policies   

ND COVID-19 Resources  

ND Smart Restart FAQs  

ND Standards for all Industries  

ND Workplace Assessment for COVID-19

ND Smart Restart Door Sign

 

Last but not least! Employee Safety & The Workplace of Tomorrow Live Webinar

CUNA Mutual Group will be holding a live webinar, “Employee Safety & The Workplace of Tomorrow” on Wednesday, May 13 at 1:00 p.m. (CT). This webinar is provided at no additional cost, and will last for approximately one hour. COVID-19 has led to quicker adoption of credit union’s plans that may have been looking ahead to embrace digital technology, remote work, and branch configuration. Expert panelists will discuss: Re-thinking the future branch; Remote work challenges; Re-opening the physical branch; Office hygiene; and Health, safety, and security issues. REGISTER HERE. If you are unable to attend at the assigned time, you can sign up to get an email link to the recording.

 

As always, CUAD members may contact Amy Kleinschmit with any compliance related questions.

 

 

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