Blog Post |

4 Ways to Know If a Company is Protecting Frontline Workers During the Pandemic

Dan Johnston

May 20, 2020

States are beginning to reopen, which means businesses are opening their doors again. But the pandemic isn’t over: the number of Covid-19 cases in the US is still growing every day.

person sanitizing a warehouse floor

So, as you evaluate the risks and benefits of job opportunities in different industries, it’s important to consider whether an employer is doing enough to protect its employees from the spread of Covid-19. Here are 4 ways you can evaluate whether a company is taking necessary steps to protect workers:

1) Review the job description for mentions of safety and sanitation.

  • Does the job description mention steps the employer is taking to ensure safety and sanitation?
  • Does it address any risk factors specific to the role you’re applying for such as proximity to other workers?
  • Does it mention what steps the company is taking to reduce these risks?

Just because these issues aren’t directly mentioned in the job description doesn’t necessarily mean the company isn’t doing anything to protect workers. But it does mean that you should ask about these issues during your in-person or virtual interview.

2) Look for warning signs during your in-person interview.

  • Does your interviewer wear a mask? Are other employees wearing masks or other protective personal equipment (PPE)?
  • Are health signs and policies posted publicly in the workspace?
  • Is the company taking steps to ensure workplace sanitation such as hand sanitizing stations and spacing out workers?

If there aren’t visible signs that an employer has taken steps to implement safe work practices and limit exposure, then this might be a red flag. Be sure to follow up with your interviewer.

3) Ask your interviewer about steps the company is taking to ensure worker safety.

These steps include things like:

  • Maintaining at least 6ft between workers whenever possible
  • Ensuring hand sanitizer and soap are always available
  • Increasing the cleaning schedule of all workstations
  • Distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves
  • Doing temperature checks or Covid-19 testing
  • Reorganizing layouts for safer workflows

4) Ask your interviewer about the company’s sick leave policies.

  • Is the company giving workers adequate sick leave to ensure they can quarantine if necessary?
  • Do they encourage sick workers to stay home?
  • Do employees have to undergo mandatory temperature checks or other health screening?
  • Are employees notified if a nearby co-worker tests positive?

And make sure you understand the regulations that protect you. All industrial employers must follow OSHA standards to protect their employees from hazards while on the job. In April, OSHA released an updated guide for employers to prepare their workplace for Covid-19. Likewise, the EEOC released updates on how the pandemic affects issues like mandatory medical testing and reasonable accommodation for disabilities. Want to know more? Read our guide on safety basics for job applicants.


Dan Johnston

Dan Johnston, Co-Founder & CEO | dan@workstep.com