To safeguard workers and deter legal issues, BSCs demand transparency from their staff as well as their clients.
Bryco Facility Services’ COVID-19 policy includes provisions for clients to notify the contractor immediately should an exposure or potential exposure occur. Likewise, BSCs are obliged to notify their clients should a custodian test positive for the virus.
Open and honest communication with clients is essential to reduce the chances of litigation. Additionally, BSCs should adhere to CDC guidelines and equip employees with step-by-step procedures to follow should they become infected.
While Diamond’s primary concern is his employees’ health, he also grapples with liability issues brought to light by the pandemic.
“In some states, if essential workers got sick during the time the state was on lockdown, they could submit a workers compensation claim,” says Diamond. “That’s an unfair liability risk on our insurance, because if that person has more than one job, how do I know where they got sick?”
Furthermore, Diamond says the absence of liability protection for contract cleaners could leave them vulnerable to lawsuits.
“If we sanitize for a customer and someone gets sick, the customer could claim that we didn’t sanitize well enough and sue us,” he says. “If I make $200 on the job, but risk getting sued for $100,000, is it worth it?”
To mitigate these risks, Diamond advises contractors to engage vendor resources, train employees and stock up on PPE.
“Be diligent about contract tracing and communicate transparently with your workers and your clients,” he says.