Skip to main content

Principles for 'Work Safe' Companies

Published Mar 24, 2020 by A.J. Mistretta

work safe company logo wide

The Partnership has established these 10 principles for companies in industries exempted from the "Stay Home-Work Safe" Order. Those businesses that continue on-site operations must work to ensure the safety of their employees.

Download a JPG of the Work Safe badge here and a PNG here.

Here are the key guidelines: 

  1. Allow all but critical on-site employees to work from home. While some companies must maintain on-site workers to complete specific business critical tasks, employers should allow all non-essential employees to work remotely.
     
  2. Employ video technology. To avoid unnecessary exposure, employers should implement tools such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or other such applications to conduct meetings. No one should feel the need to meet in person.
     
  3. Create a safe work environment for all critical on-site employees.
    • Create physical separation. Health officials advise that all individuals should remain at least six feet apart to avoid possible transmission. Employers should establish protocols that require all on-site employees maintain a distance of at least six feet while working.
    • Close communal spaces. Employers should discontinue use of any communal spots such as lunchrooms, breakrooms, meeting rooms and other gathering spaces to avoid unnecessary person-to-person exposure.
    • Expand cleaning operations. Companies where workers must remain onsite should increase cleaning protocols of all high-touch and high-traffic areas throughout the day.
       
  4. Require sick workers to stay home. Require sick workers to stay home.To minimize exposure to other personnel, all workers who are experiencing even mild symptoms should avoid the workplace, report the situation to their supervisor and remain home.
     
  5. Adjust paid sick leave (PTO) policies. Employers should adjust policies to remove disincentives from people self-reporting illnesses. It is to your company’s advantage for sick employees to stay home.
     
  6. Encourage proper hygiene. Employers should provide sufficient hand sanitizing stations, guidelines for proper hand washing and soap at all hand-washing stations to ensure proper hygiene at the workplace.
     
  7. Create alternative teams. Employers where on-site staff remain critical should create alternating teams (i.e. morning/afternoon shifts, day/evening, every other day) so that operations may continue if one team becomes exposed and is required to quarantine.
     
  8. Restrict on-site access. Employee guests and other visitors should not be allowed access to any office or worksite.
     
  9. Discontinue work-related travel and require reporting of personal travel. Employers should discontinue travel by employees to other locations outside of the Houston region. If employees travel outside of the region for personal reasons, these trips should be reported to the employer should they pose an increased risk.
     
  10. Establish anonymous reporting. To maintain a safe work environment for on-site employees, companies should create an anonymous complaint channel for employees to report unsafe practices or violations of protocol during this period.

Click here for a one-pager from Partnership on Work Safe Companies. 

Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 

Related News

Economy

Governor Abbott and Judge Hidalgo Issue New COVID-19 Orders

6/26/20
This morning, Governor Greg Abbott announced a change to certain elements of the Reopen Texas plan.  Per Governor Abbott’s order, effective at noon today, all bars and similar establishments must close. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out. Beginning Monday, June 29, restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50 percent of total listed indoor occupancy. Previously, restaurants were allowed to operate at 75 percent of capacity. Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions, and rafting and tubing businesses must close. The governor’s executive order can be found here.   In Harris County today, Judge Hidalgo announced a change in the COVID-19 threat level system, which advises county residents on the local level of transmission. Judge Hidalgo raised the threat level from Level 2, “significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19”, to Level 1, meaning that “residents should minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs.” Judge Hidalgo also issued a Stay Home advisory, which encourages residents to remain at home whenever possible. These measures signal that the Houston region is at an inflection point, and we must join together to stop the spread. We believe that residents across the region should stay home as much as possible. This should include office workers who are back in the workplace but could effectively work from home. We encourage employers to strongly consider returning to a work-from-home model where it is practical. We also ask companies to remind their employees that their actions when out in public – away from the workplace – will likely determine whether the virus enters the workplace. Maintaining social distancing, wearing masks in public spaces and washing hands are all key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus at this critical moment. Managing Positive COVID-19 Cases A reminder that if someone in the workplace does test positive, we have developed a protocols document that helps address the actions businesses should take to mitigate the risk to others. Get the latest information on Governor Abbott's order, industry best practices for reopening, and the Partnership's work safe principles here. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information.
Read More
Membership

New Partnership Members in April & May

6/12/20
The Greater Houston Partnership welcomed 26 new member companies in the months of April and May. The Partnership works to connect companies with resources, information and networking opportunities to help increase business while also providing a platform to influence the direction of the region. New members joining in the month of April include: Wonolo: Wonolo, which stands for “Work Now Locally,” is an on-demand staffing technology platform that is changing the way businesses find talent for their immediate labor needs. At the same time, they are saving companies money by connecting them with talented people within minutes. Wonolo provides a broad range of jobs from warehouse, delivery, and merchandising, to event staffing and admin roles and is currently available in NorCal, SoCal, NY/NJ/PA, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, Atlanta, PHX and now Houston. Website   The Blair Law Firm, PC: Nelda Luce Blair has been President/Owner of The Blair Law Firm, P. C. since 1987. Services provided to a select clientele include business and legal consulting, facilitating and professional presentations to organizations, local counsel representation, expert witness availability, local/state/national political campaign assistance, educational awareness. Website New members joining in the month of May include: B2B CFO: A trusted advisor to business owners, B2B CFO advises on strategic financial planning, operations, accounting, efficiency, banking, insurance, cash flow, exit strategies, etc. The company was found in 1987 in Arizona and now has offices all across the US. Website   Work & Mother: Work & Mother is a network of fully equipped lactation facilities and associated support resources to enable mothers to pump breast milk during the workday. Work & Mother is a new building amenity that makes it easy for employers to satisfy FLSA Section 7 obligations and improve recruiting and retention of top female talent. Website   Greater Northside Management District: The Greater Northside Management District promotes, develops, encourages, and maintains employment, commerce, transportation, housing, tourism, recreation, arts, entertainment, economic development, safety, and the public welfare in the north side of the City of Houston. Website   SwimJim Texas LLC: SwimJim teaches swimming and drowning prevention skills to children from two months to early teens. The company is based in New York, this is their first Houston location. Website   Foremost Fresh Direct: Foremost Fresh Direct (FFD) is the cold storage and logistics service-provider for sister company Pro Citrus Network (PCN). Founded in 2004, PCN is a grower/shipper/importer of year-round, fresh citrus and other fresh commodities. Website   Emilio Armstrong: Emilio Armstrong is Trade Representative for Chile in Texas at ProChile USA    Fulshear-Katy Area Chamber of Commerce: The Fulshear-Katy Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to serving the Business Community in the Fulshear-Katy Area as well as the Tri-County Region. This includes Fort Bend, Waller and Harris Counties. Website   Gregor Wynne Arney, PLLC: Gregor Wynne Arney, PLLC specializes in commercial, securities, and energy litigation; FINRA arbitration, media law, general counsel services and employment law. Website   Harris/Deaton Advisors: Offering broad financial services, including high net worth advisory and capital markets. Website   Australian Trade and Investment Commission: The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency. As the U.S. representative office of Australia for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, Austrade foster diplomacy, trade and investment. Website   Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.: Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. breaks barriers for people experiencing substance abuse, underemployment, and housing instability, with focused services for youth, veterans, people with disabilities, and those referred from the criminal justice system. Website   Oyster Creek Consulting: Business Development consulting specializing in increasing connections for effective social impact with expertise in financial literacy, disaster recovery, and affordable housing.  Website   Task Services Marketing Solutions: Task Services is a veteran-owned agency integrating brand and marketing for businesses, providing digital agency remote assistance to small businesses on a monthly or as-needed basis. Website   River Aggregates: River Aggregates is an aggregate producer supplying the Houston, Beaumont and East Texas markets with sand and gravel facilities located in Conroe and Rye Texas. Website   NextGen Information Services, Inc: NextGen provides Technology Solutions in Computing Infrastructure (Servers, Desktops and Network), Business Software and Data Analytics. NextGen meets customer requirements in this area through project services and staffing services. Website   GlobalSpeak Translations: GlobalSpeak Translations specializes in technical translations, localization and interpreter services within the global energy sector.  Their services assist clients to effectively expand their services and global footprint. Website   Vigavi Realty, LLC: Vigavi Realty is a privately held industrial real estate investment and development firm based in Houston, Texas. The range of services include Land Development, Construction, Investment, Build to Suit & Design Build solutions. Website   Perry Redman    Goosehead Insurance - Stinson Cartright Agency: Goosehead Insurance Agency is an independent personal lines insurance broker serving the continental United States. Website   Intervale Capital: Specialized private equity investors that partner with world class entrepreneurs, managers and business owners in the infrastructure, energy and industrial end markets. Website    M Chenault Management Consulting: Assisting entrepreneurs, small business owners and non-profit organizations in capacity building and addressing business development needs through business formation, coaching, preparing business and investment proposal responses, business plans and grant proposals. Website   Big Oak Tree Media: Houston-based Public Relations, Marketing and Consulting Firm with a passion for Creative Storytelling and Multicultural Communications. Website    Concept and Perspective, LLC: Supporting clients to grow and to successfully navigate change, complexity and risk. Specializing in Strategic and Business Planning, M&A, Transformational Growth and New Market Entry. Website     Joslin Construction: For over 45 years, Joslin Construction has been providing civil construction for the largest projects in the Texas Gulf Coast region. The company performs site construction for many different developments, including schools, retail centers, and residential communities. Joslin Construction has one of the largest workforces in the industry. Website Click here to see the Partnership's Membership Directory. To learn more about membership with the Greater Houston Partnership click here, or contact membership@houston.org.
Read More

Related Events

Education and Workforce Event

2020 Houston NEXT: An ERG Summit

Bringing together D&I, HR leaders and Talent Attraction professionals, this event explores how Houston must take a leadership role in addressing diversity, equality, inclusion and justice for our region and…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners