Travis Vance Slc

Video Highlights from SLC 2020: Lessons Learned Helping Companies Cope During a Pandemic

Nov. 11, 2020
In this video presentation from the Safety Leadership Conference, Travis Vance of Fisher Phillips explains how to efficiently manage return-to-work procedures.

At a breakout session at the 2020 Safety Leadership Conference Travis Vance, who has already helped more than 500 companies since the pandemic began, explains in great detail the rapidly changing regulations and legal requirements companies are facing during the pandemic.

Through his work as a partner at Fisher Philips handling safety issues across several industries and various subject matters, including employment litigation, he has emerged as a thought leader in the field of workplace safety.

His session is chock-full of detailed advice on numerous topics, leading to a lively Q&A from the audience.

EHS Today Intelligence members can watch Travis Vance's full SLC 2020 presentation here:

Here are some of the highlights from the Q&A:

Q: How do you efficiently update a Return to Office plan on a national level, when state and even local regulations vary on an almost daily basis?

A: Best practice is to have a general policy, with addendums for each state that have different requirements (like a drug testing policy or employee handbook). On my LinkedIn page, I have the Virginia COVID-19 policy posted. The safety professionals of the Blue Ridge Safety Association and I prepared a template your business can use to formulate your written plan and comply with this requirement for lower and medium risk workplaces. Confer with counsel prior to finalizing your policy.

Q: After a worker is out for 14 days due to a positive test and on Day 13 he tests positive, what's the plan then?

A: He would need to be out for 10 days since he showed symptoms, or 10 days from the date of his test, if asymptomatic. If he has symptoms, then he would need to be fever-free for 24 hours (without medication) and have an improvement in symptoms. 

Q: What if employees are working within 6 feet of each other but barriers are in place (plexiglass)? Is that still considered close contact?

A: No, if the plexiglass prevents the sharing of respiratory droplets, the employees can be closer than 6 feet. 

Q: With all the CDC revisions due to new information, how do you suggest tracking employer actions/pivots?

A: A written COVID-19 response plan is crucial. You can update it as needed with addendums, but more importantly, consistently communicate with your employees to ensure that they understand exactly what actions you are taking to keep them safe, including updates to your COVID-19 plan.

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