Getting Your Business Return to Work Ready

As local governments ease restrictions on returning to work in lieu of COVID-19 shutdowns, you, as business owners, may be thinking about what that will look like. You know what PPE stands for. You’ve sourced sanitizing supplies.

But have you thought about your physical space and the Engineering Controls to protect without relying on behavior?

People have been reaching out to us for help and that’s what we’re working on right now. For businesses that want guidance, we are brainstorming the best plan and making it happen as quickly as possible.

Now is the time to make physical changes to your workplace. Don’t know where to start? Consider these three main principles for your colleagues:

  1. Colleagues being SAFE
  2. Colleagues FEELING safe
  3. Colleagues feeling SUPPORTED

If you prioritize your people, they will be more willing to take it on the chin and move forward.

You need to be flexible and responsive to an evolving situation. Here are some Engineering Controls that can be the most cost effective to implement:

  • Installing high-efficiency air filters
  • Increasing ventilation rates in the work environment
  • Installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards
  • Installing a drive-through window for customer service
  • Specialized negative pressure ventilation (See our clean rooms site)

Be productive now as plans are being made for reopening. Assess the type of work that needs to be done in your workplace. Have a brainstorming session with your colleagues now and visualize the return to work.

For immediate inspiration, look at some essential businesses; gas stations, pharmacies and grocery stores that are already employing Engineering Controls and complying with the mandates.

Some have excelled and some have failed. Where do you want to be?

It may not be easy, but it is doable. When you have people that are passionate and talented, you make it happen. Together, we can be creative and remain committed to your colleagues.

Let’s pick up an oar and start rowing.

Nicholas D. Stoltzfus, P.E. is President of DESCCO Design and Construction, which offers Fit-Outs, Design and Construction and Renovation services in the Mid-Atlantic region. Visit