Employers should be prepared for workplace investigations, in response to alleged violations of Governor Holcomb’s most recent Executive Order, issued on April 6, 2020 (the “Order”). The Order includes provisions on enforcement of the Order. IOSHA is directed to take all available administrative and enforcement actions against businesses or entities who fail to comply with workplace safety conditions. Additionally, an Enforcement Response Team is charged with investigations of violations of the Order.
What should employers do to minimize their risk?
First, it will be important for employers to review the requirements of the Order and ensure that they are in compliance with all safety measures or precautions.
Second, employers must institute compliance procedures, protocols and safeguards regarding COVID-19 workplace safety precautions.
Third, communication with employees is essential and can help prevent unfounded complaints. Employees should be informed of:
• The employer’s awareness of the Order and its requirements;
• The employer’s commitment to compliance with the Order;
• All the precautions being taken by employer, to protect employee’s safety (even if not directly the employee’s responsibility); and
• Expectations of employees with respect to safety precautions.
Additionally, communication with employees should be regular. These communications can take the form of posters, emails and meetings both for informational purposes and for the purpose of permitting employees to discuss their questions and concerns.