7/24/2020 Mask Mandate Update
In compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81 masks will be required to be worn by all employees and customers:
- In any indoor space unless the individual is alone, such as in an office.
- Outdoors if social distancing is not able to be maintained.
- In company vehicles unless traveling alone.
Acceptable face coverings include paper or disposable masks, cloth masks, neck gaiters, a scarf, a bandanna, or religious face covering. Face coverings must cover the mouth and nose at all times but should not be overly tight or restrictive. Masks that incorporate valves for easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design, or vents are not sufficient face coverings. Employees and customers are discouraged from using medical grade masks to reserve them for healthcare workers. Disposable face masks will be placed at each entrance for customer use, informational notices requiring mask use and offering contactless curbside pickup will be posted at all customer entrances and employees will offer a disposable mask to any customer not wearing a mask upon entry but will not engage in arguments or force a customer to wear a mask.
Face coverings are not intended to substitute for social distancing. It is expected that all employees will continue to social distance and minimize the length of time together as much as possible.
Face shields may be an alternative face covering for situations where a face mask is problematic. To ensure optimal protection the shield should extend below the chin and to the ears with no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece. Employees who are unable to wear the preferred face coverings and would like to use a face shield or other face covering not listed as accommodation should contact HR for approval.
Exceptions to the use of face coverings include:
- Children under 2 years of age should NOT wear face coverings. Children between 2 and 5 years of age are not required to wear face coverings but are encouraged to
- Persons who have medical or other conditions, disabilities, or mental health, developmental or behavioral needs that make it difficult to tolerate a face covering.
- Any person who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, sleeping, incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
- Persons at their workplace when wearing a face covering would create a safety hazard to the person or others as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
- Alternatives to masks such as clear face shields may be considered for those with health conditions or situations where wearing a mask is problematic. Face shields may also be used as an alternative to face coverings when specifically permitted in the applicable Industry Guidance available at Stay Safe Minnesota.
Richard Hobbs, CEO,
July 24, 2020
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Simonson Lumber
Simonson Lumber is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our workers and customers. To ensure we have as safe and healthy workplace, we have developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers and workers are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our workers and management and customers. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our workers and workplaces.
Management and workers are responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Simonson Lumber managers and supervisors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy.
Our workers are our most important assets. We are serious about safety and health and keeping our workers working at Simonson Lumber. Worker involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our workers in this process by soliciting and implementing changes based on their feedback including interviewing processes, cleaning processes, PPE needs and handling customer interactions. Our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines, federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and Executive Order 20-48, and addresses:
- hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
- engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
- cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination and ventilation;
- prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
- communications and training that will be provided to managers and workers; and
- management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.
- protection and controls for pick-up, drop-off and delivery;
- protections and controls for in-store shopping;
- protections and controls for shopping malls; and
- communications and instructions for customers.
Screening and policies for employees exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Workers have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess workers’ health status prior to entering the workplace and for workers to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms. Employees who have symptoms are expected to call in and review symptoms with their managers before coming into work. Employees will remain at home until they are 24 hours symptom free. Employees who develop symptoms are work are expected to let their manager know immediately and will be sent home until they are 24 hours symptom free. Employees who are feeling well enough to work and who are set up to work from home may perform their duties from home.
Simonson Lumber has implemented leave policies that promote workers staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household. Employees who are home ill, quarantined or caring for ill family members may qualify for Emergency Sick Leave, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or utilize Paid Time Off (PTO) during their time away from work. In some situations policies and usage may overlap. Accommodations for workers with underlying medical conditions or who have household members with underlying health conditions have been implemented. When possible employees with underlying health conditions have been allowed and set up to work from home. Employees who are not able to work from home have been allowed to take a personal leave of absence.
Simonson Lumber has also implemented a policy for informing workers if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time. As soon as reasonably possible we will inform any employees of known exposures. It is expected that all employees will notify their manager or HR as soon as reasonably possible of any known exposures outside of work. Employees who have been exposed will be required to work from home if possible and if tele-work is not an option they will be required to complete a health questionnaire and temp check at the start of every shift as well as wear masks anytime they are with another person (regardless of social distancing measures). Employees who feel uncomfortable completing the temperature checks and health questionnaires or who prefer to be quarantined at home may do so.
In addition, a policy has been implemented to protect the privacy of workers’ health status and health information. Employee’s confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us. When notifying others of possible exposure names or identifying information will not be released. All health questionnaires will be given to the Manager, placed in an envelope and sent to HR daily.
Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our workplaces at all times. Workers are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift, prior to any mealtimes and after using the toilet. All customers and visitors to the workplace will be required to wash or sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility. Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) are at entrances and locations in the workplace so they can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled.
Hand sanitizing stations will be available in the entry of every location for customer and employee use and employees have been provided additional hand sanitizer for regular use. Public restrooms are available and regular hand washing is allowed and encouraged.
Respiratory etiquette: Cover your cough or sneeze
Workers, customers and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all workers, customers and visitors.
Social distancing of six feet will be implemented and maintained between workers, customers and visitors in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls: Any employees who are able to work from home are expected to work from home. Employees are regularly reminded to maintain good social distancing with each other and with customers. Any employees who are in contact with each other or customers for more than 10 minutes within a proximity of 6 feet or less will wear a mask and request the customer to also wear a mask. Cloth masks, neck gaiters and disposable masks have been provided for all employees. Disposable masks will be available at each location for customer use. Any employees or customers who are unsure how to use any of the masks or cleaning products should talk to their Manage for direction. As needed reminders to social distance and wear masks will be posted. We will continue to offer curbside service to any customer who prefers it. Customers are encouraged to charge items to their accounts to decrease the amount of transaction time and passing of money. Counters and credit card machines will be cleaned after each customer. Tables will be placed in front of our counters to ensure 6 feet or more of distance. Generally offices and office equipment is not shared. In any cases where sharing occurs, individuals will be responsible to clean after each use. Ideally employees will not be riding in vehicles together, however if the need arises where they must ride together they are required to both wear masks. We will continue to ask vendors to call before entering the yard to receive unloading instructions as well as have bill of ladings emailed in advance to allow for contactless drop off. We will continue contactless drop off for our customers including not entering occupied homes. Any employees or customers with questions should contact the store General Manager first. If additional questions remain they should be directed to the HR/Safety Manager.
Cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation
Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, delivery vehicles and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, break rooms, lunch rooms, meeting rooms, checkout stations, fitting rooms, and drop-off and pick-up locations. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, credit card readers, delivery equipment, etc. Employees will clean the counters, credit card machines, tables, etc that are used after each customer. Other commonly used surfaces such as bathrooms, breakrooms, offices, etc. will be cleaned at least 3 times daily use Decon Benefect 30, bleach solutions, or bleach solution wipes. If an employee or customers is symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19 the entire location will be closed until the location can be sprayed down using Decon Benefect 30 unless it is determined that the contact was so long ago that current cleaning procedures would be sufficient.
Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfectant supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product. Decon Benefect 30, bleach/water solutions and cleaning products containing bleach have been provided. It is recommended that gloves are used with any bleach products and that appropriate hand washing in completed especially before eating or drinking after use. The maximum amount of fresh air is being brought into the workplace, air recirculation is being limited and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Steps are also being taken to minimize air flow blowing across people.
Communications and training
This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan was communicated via email and paper copies to all workers on June 12, 2020 and necessary training was provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing as needed via email, in person, zoom meetings and through managers and provided to all workers who did not receive the initial training. Instructions will be communicated to customers and visitors about: how drop-off, pick-up, delivery and in-store shopping will be conducted to ensure social distancing between the customers and workers; required hygiene practices; and recommendations that customers and visitors use face masks when dropping off, picking up, accepting delivery or in-store shopping. Customers and visitors will also be advised not to enter the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms or have contracted COVID-19 through signage on the entry doors. Managers and supervisors are to monitor how effective the program has been implemented by visual inspection, record keeping and follow up with employees and customers. Management and workers are to work through this new program together and update the training as necessary. This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been certified by Simonson Lumber management and was posted throughout the workplace June 15, 2020. It will be updated as necessary.
Richard Hobbs, CEO,
June 12, 2020
Appendix A – Guidance for developing a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Centers for Disease Controal and Prevention (CDC): Coronavirus (COVID-19) – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH): Coronavirus – www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus
State of Minnesota: COVID-19 response – https://mn.gov/covid19
CDC: Resources for businesses and employers – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
CDC: General business frequently asked questions – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html
CDC: Building/business ventilation – www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
MDH: Businesses and employers: COVID-19 – www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/businesses.html
MDH: Health screening checklist – www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facilityhlthscreen.pdf
MDH: Materials for businesses and employers – www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED): COVID-19 information and resources – https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI): Updates related to COVID-19 – www.dli.mn.gov/updates
Federal OSHA – www.osha.gov
MDH: Handwashing video translated into multiple languages – www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdQuPGVcceg
Respiratory etiquette: Cover your cough or sneeze
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
Employees exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19
State of Minnesota – https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/get-tested/index.jsp
Federal OSHA: www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf