Washington State Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) Economic Resiliency Team: Business & Workers Update 7/14/2021

Jul 14, 2021  -  Uncategorized

WHAT WASHINGTON WORKERS AND BUSINESSES SHOULD KNOW


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT...

WORKPLACE SAFETY DURING SUMMER HEAT WAVES

Emergency heat exposure rules define what employers need to do to protect outdoor workers.

The Department of Labor & Industries filed an emergency rule to provide increased protection for employees exposed to extreme heat, including those working in agriculture, construction and other outdoor industries. The new regulations supplement existing rules. When temperatures are at or over 100 degrees, employers must respond to the extreme heat by:

  • Providing shade or another sufficient means for employees to cool down; and
  • Ensuring workers have a paid cool-down rest period of at least 10 minutes every two hours.

When temperatures are at or above 89 degrees, employers must:

  • Provide water that is cool enough to drink safety;
  • Allow and encourage workers to take additional paid preventative cool-down rest to protect from overheating;
  • Have a written outdoor heat exposure safety program and provide training to employees; and
  • Respond appropriately to any employee with symptoms of high-related illness.

The emergency rules update existing rules that are in place annually from May through the end of September. The existing rules already require ready access to at least one quart of drinking water per worker per hour, an outdoor heat exposure safety program with training, and an appropriate response to workers who are experiencing heat-related illness symptoms.


TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

As businesses reopen, state launches SmartWA dashboard to help small businesses reopen safely.

To help small business owners identify the safety protocols most likely to be important to customers, the Washington State Department of Commerce recently launched a new SmartWA business decision support system and COVID-19 dashboard.

SmartWA uses numerous data sources and artificial intelligence to provide small businesses most impacted by the pandemic with real-time outlooks about public health, economic and community conditions by county and industry. The decision support system features an interactive simulator that provides industry-specific predictions about which safety protocols are most likely to increase customer traffic in specific sectors. The tool is available in seven languages and was designed in collaboration with minority-owned small business owners from throughout the state.

What this short online demo; then explore for yourself at SmartWA.us. The tool was developed by Restart Partners and its partners ChoiceFlows and Tanjo.ai. The state Departments of Health and Labor & Industries also contributed to its development.


BUSINESS WEBINARS

Start Your Business -- Free August 10th Webinar

Start Your Business is a FREE, one-hour webinar for aspiring entrepreneurs or newly-started businesses to gain valuable information about business registration and licensing, other regulatory requirements, and resources for further assistance. The next webinar is scheduled for August 10th at 2 pm. The webinar includes brief presentations from several state agency small business liaisons with dedicated time for questions and answers. Click here for more information about the SBRR webinars and to register online.


Grow Your Business -- Free September 16th Webinar

Grow Your Business is a FREE, one-hour webinar for established businesses that are actively seeking opportunities to grow their business from beyond its current model -- new markets, new products, new locations, new staffing, and new financing. Its focus is on government-supported opportunities and assistance and regulatory impacts of growth to factor in your planning. The webinar includes brief presentations from several state agency small business liaisons with dedicated time for questions and answers. The next webinar is scheduled for September 16th at 2 pm. The webinar includes brief presentations from several state agency small business liaisons with dedicated time for questions and answers. Click here for more information about the SBRR webinars and to register online.

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