Synergy Insurance Group (SIG) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our clients and employees. To ensure we have a safe and healthy workplace, SIG has 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. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our workplaces.
The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is administered by SIG’s Board of Directors, who all maintain the overall authority and responsibility for the plan. However, management and workers are equally responsible for supporting, implementing, complying with and providing recommendations to further improve all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. SIG’s managers and supervisors have our full support in enforcing the provisions of this plan.
Our workers are our most important assets. SIG is serious about safety and health and protecting our workers. Worker involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our workers in this process by encouraging frequent feedback from our employees, all of which is discussed and voted on by SIG’s Board of Directors.
SIG’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows the industry guidance developed by the state of Minnesota, available at the Stay Safe Minnesota website (https://staysafe.mn.gov), which is based upon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines for COVID-19, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) statutes, rules and standards, and Minnesota’s relevant and current executive orders. It addresses:
Ensure sick workers stay home and prompt identification and isolation of sick persons.
Workers have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Although nearly all our employees work from home, the following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess in-office workers’ health status prior to entering the workplace and for workers to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms.
SIG 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. All of our employees are either currently working from home or are set up to be able to begin working from home at any time. Accommodations for workers with underlying medical conditions or who have household members with underlying health conditions have been implemented.
SIG 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.
In addition, a policy has been implemented to protect the privacy of workers’ health status and health information.
Social distancing – Workers must be at least six-feet apart
Social distancing of at least six feet will be implemented and maintained between workers, clients and visitors in the workplace through the following engineering and administrative controls:
Worker hygiene and source controls
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 restroom. All clients and visitors to the workplace are 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. Source controls are being implemented at our workplaces at all times including face coverings or masks when clients or visitors are present.
Workers, clients 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, particularly their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. Workers, clients and visitors are expected to 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 and other persons entering the workplace. Signs with clear and detailed instructions will be placed at all entrances to our offices.
In all SIG office locations, including Coon Rapids, Red Wing and Gays Mills, all clients and visitors must wear a mask or face covering to cover the nose and mouth completely, and can include a paper or disposable face mask, a cloth face mask, a scarf, a bandanna, a neck gaiter, or a religious face covering. All employee are required to wear a mask or face covering indoors if there are any clients or visitors present in any of the office locations. Masks or face coverings are also required outdoors are our office locations if there are clients or visitors present and social distancing is not possible.
Minnesotans are encouraged to refer to CDC guidance on How to Make Cloth Face Coverings, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-gettingsick/how-to-make-cloth-face-covering.html. Medical-grade masks and respirators are sufficient face coverings, but to preserve adequate supplies, their purchase and use is discouraged for Minnesotans who do not work in a health care setting or in other occupations that require medical-grade protective equipment (e.g., certain construction occupations). Masks that incorporate a valve designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow exhaled droplets to be released into the air.
Workplace building and ventilation protocol
Operation of the building in which the workplace is located, includes necessary sanitation, assessment and maintenance of building systems, including water, plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. 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.
Workplace cleaning and disinfection protocol
Regular practices of cleaning and disinfecting have been implemented, including a schedule for routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, tools and machinery, 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 is being conducted of high-touch areas, including phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, elevator panels, railings, copy machines, credit card readers, delivery equipment, etc.
Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfecting 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.
Communications and training practices and protocol
This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan was communicated via Chat on Microsoft Teams to all workers on August 1, 2020, and necessary training was provided. Additional communication and training will be ongoing by frequent communication through Microsoft Teams. Training will be provided to all workers who did not receive the initial training and prior to initial assignment or reassignment.
Instructions will be communicated to all workers, including employees, clients, temporary workers, staffing and labor-pools, independent contractors, subcontractors, vendors and outside technicians, about protections and protocols, including: 1) social distancing protocols and practices; 2) drop-off, pick-up, delivery and general in-store shopping; 3) practices for hygiene and respiratory etiquette; 4) requirements regarding the use of face-coverings and/or face-shields by workers, clients and visitors. All workers, clients and visitors will also be advised not to enter the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms or have contracted COVID-19.
Managers and supervisors are expected to monitor how effective the program has been implemented with bi-monthly surveys on Microsoft Teams. All management and workers are to take an active role and collaborate in carrying out the various aspects of this plan, and update the protections, protocols, work-practices and training as necessary. This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been certified by SIG management and the plan was posted throughout the workplace and made readily available to employees August 1, 2020. It will be updated as necessary by the Office Manager.
Appendix A – Guidance for developing a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Centers for Disease Controal and Prevention (CDC): Coronavirus (COVID-19) –
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH): Coronavirus –
State of Minnesota: COVID-19 response – https://mn.gov/covid19
CDC: Resources for businesses and employers –
CDC: General business frequently asked questions –
CDC: Building/business ventilation –
MDH: Businesses and employers: COVID-19 –
MDH: Health screening checklist –
MDH: Materials for businesses and employers –
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
2520 Coon Rapids Blvd NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
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