Small Business Strong - Businessman in Warehouse

Employees are the lifeline of any business, and as such it is crucial that both the owner and employees are aware of the resources that give guidance on how to give proper protection to employees.


Sanitation & Safety

The resources below highlight local and federal safety guidelines and how employers and employees can stay safe at the workplace.


Federal Guidelines

Guidance and information for workers and employers on preventing infection with COVID-19 from the Department of Labor

OSHA Fact Sheet: Protecting Workers During a Pandemic

Guidance for employers, including information on workers’ rights, control measures, and training

State Guidelines

Community Sanitation Regulations

Sanitation guidelines for some local businesses in Massachusetts

Protective Equipment


The COVID-19 PPE Fund has been established to provide funding for medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and/or grants to hospitals and senior care facilities affected by COVID-19 and future disease outbreaks, with a particular focus on the Greater Boston area.

Benefits & Insurance

There are a variety of benefits and insurance programs that employees can utilize to stay safe at work and at home.


Shot of office workers in a meeting in a boardroom

Employee Benefits

US Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration's guide on COBRA for Employees

State Insurance Programs

Massachusetts CHIP Program

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide no-cost or low-cost health coverage for eligible children in Massachusetts.


Massachusetts Health Connector

Insurance marketplace for the state of Massachusetts, can be used to enroll to health insurance

Insurance Calculator

Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator provides estimates of health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). People can also check for eligibility for Medicaid.

Health and Safety Protocols

Employee Protection Areas:

Employee health policy measures
  • Ensure gloves and masks for employees, regardless of customer-facing, housekeeping staff, or management
  • Individual daily refreshed PPE and daily disinfecting of employees' uniforms
  • Apply mandatory 14-day quarantine for high-risk persons
  • Ensure sick leave policies are flexible, consistent with public health guidelines, flexible hours/part time for family needs
  • Require non-core functions to work from home until further notice
  • Move all in-person group trainings online; use virtual recruitment tools and onboarding
Entry to worksite
  • Establish controlled means of entrance (single point, multiple entrances, etc.)
  • Complete temperature checks and app-based questionnaire upon building or office entry at start of shift
  • Install hand sanitizing stations at entrances and in common areas
Workplace Distancing
  • Ensure no shared equipment within a shift; workstations deep cleaned/sanitized after each shift
  • Implement staggered check-in, check-out, and break time to reduce large group gatherings
  • Split shifts with working groups that remain separate
  • Maintain 6 ft distance between employees
  • Ensure commercial/delivery drivers' access is limited to receiving area and separate from staff
Worksite facility conditions
  • Sanitize common touch points hourly (doors, stairwell handles, elevator buttons, etc.)
  • Complete weekly deep clean
  • Procure increased amounts of soap, hand sanitizer, and cleaning equipment/materials readily available to all workers
  • Ensure ventilation per OSHA guidance
  • Provide no-touch trash bins/waste receptacles
Public health knowledge
  • Apply signage on handwashing, social distancing, health conditions, and what to do if you or a colleague is feeling sick
  • Implement ongoing training on customer-facing protocols, such as looking for and recognizing symptoms in customers and themselves

Safe Process Adaptations Protection Areas:

Workplace adaptations
  • Increased spacing between common seating areas (e.g.; lobby, restaurant)
  • Designate rooms to quarantine individuals until health officials are contacted/individual can safely return home or to a health facility, making sure to deep clean after use
  • Restricted use or shut-down of fitness/pool facilities and common locker rooms
  • Use low-occupancy time for refurbishment, maintenance, and system upgrade processes
  • Backoffice personnel to work from home (especially vulnerable or high-risk individuals)
  • Procedures and expectations for disrupted work (e.g.; sickness of key employees); contingency plans for continuity, cross-train employees to cover for essential business positions
  • Require non-core positions to work from home until further notice
Operational and productivity process adaptations
  • Mandatory hand washing every 2 hours; installation of additional hand sanitizer stations and soaps in toilets and common areas
  • No overlap between shifts for direct and indirect labor
  • Staggered breaks to reduce large group gatherings
  • Avoid meetings of more than 5 participants; obligatory face mask during face-to-face meetings
  • Touchless electronic payments and check-in
  • Maintain social distancing during queuing
Communication and continuous improvement adaptations
  • Provide daily updates to all employees on latest facts concerning COVID-19 in community, updated policies, and impact on business and employment
  • Establish team or communication chain to collect concerns and questions from community
  • Extensive signage and communication on stepped-up cleaning and hygiene practices, with visible air purifiers, etc., placed to help guests feel safe

Overall Health Interventions Protection Areas:

Detection and tracing
  • Check health of people entering facility (e.g.; check and log body temperature with contactless thermometer for all employees, guests at check-in/check-out, and contractors entering and reentering facility)
  • Ensure appropriate procedures if employees exceed normal body temperature (e.g.; employees get tested/relieved from work for 2 weeks) and set up tracking of tested or sick employees and their point of contacts for contact tracing
  • Notify health officials of suspected sick employees
  • Encourage employees to opt into/sign up for digital contact tracing products available
  • Group employees into teams that stick together (work, travel, live, and eat) to facilitate health tracking
  • Ask guests to fill out health questionnaire prior to entering facility
Personal behavior reinforcement
  • Use promotional programs around hand washing and other best practices in common and private bathrooms
  • Train staff on symptoms to identify potential infections among coworkers and guests
Governance and standards
  • Coordinate with industry associations and union organizations on best practices and capability checklists in reference to WHO, Department of Health (DOH), and CDC guidelines
  • Use a COVID-19 inspection service to clear hotels before reopening
  • Set up clear protocols based on employee and guest health indicators (Leading Indicators: thermometer temperature spikes, thermal scanning spikes, increased absenteeism) (Lagging Indicators: Staff health visits above pre-defined rate, community spread in retailer locale)
  • Set up email for reporting suspected cases or hygiene violations

Download health and safety protocols checklists for:

Operating Safety During COVID-19

Employee Checklist