Small Business Resource Guide

Employee Training Resources

According to the Governor’s new reopening guidelines, employers are required to take steps to provide a safe operating environment for employees and customers. Employers will have to train their employees on safety procedures and be sure to update training on a regular basis. This training must go beyond providing written or verbal instruction – employees must do hands-on training before going back to work.

Training will vary by industry. Essential worker businesses have more direct exposure to potential contagion, so precautions and preparation are more extensive. Lesser exposed businesses can do less involved training but will still need to understand the requirements for their business type and be vigilant about updating training procedures.

Who should get training

All employees, including managers and owners, should be trained in required hygiene and protective measures. “Front Line” employees who deal directly with customers may need additional training. This training must be done before reopening a business and must be renewed on a regular basis.

What employees should be trained for

Your employees should be trained on the basic prevention measures required to re-open your business, according to the Governor’s Reopening Guidelines.  This means training in areas such as:

  • Assuring employee hygiene, such as thorough hand washing, and including where workers, customers, and worksite visitors will wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, train on providing alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Policy on workers who feel sick staying home. What symptoms will you ask your employees to monitor? What is your policy on time off and leave?(Note that employers should adhere to federal guidance pertaining to paid leave, and shall post the FFCRA DOL Poster).
  • Rules on respiratory etiquette, including how to cover coughs and sneezes. Assuring customers and the public have tissues and trash receptacles.
  • Policies on flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts)
  • How you will increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and customers to comply with state guidelines. You should map out your physical space, then determine and mark-off how pre-COVID-19 congregating areas will be reconfigured to allow for 6 foot distance between people.
  • Restrictions on using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, whenever possible. Develop a plan regarding communal phones used in restaurants and retail establishments.
  • Procedures on maintaining regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment, including selection of proven cleaning and disinfectant products and assuring adherence to manufacturers instructions for their use.
  • How to put on and take off PPE. For example, using gloves as PPE requires training in how to properly to apply, use, and discard. Disposable gloves cannot be cleaned and re-used. Please note, cleaning latex gloves with alcohol based sanitizer can cause pin-holes and make the gloves useless for reasons of infection control.
  • How to maintain, store, and replace PPE.

Where to go for more information

There is a great deal of useful information to help you create your training protocol to assure a safe and productive environment for your employees and customers.  Below are a few worth reviewing:

Center for Disease Control & Prevention
U.S. Food & Drug Administration
American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) 
  • As part of its Back to Work Safely program, AIHA offers free comprehensive guides for 14 industries, with more to come. They are the most detailed and industry-specific guides available right now.
CT Restaurant Association 


Example controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in work environments

(Facilities & Equipment) 
  • Assess job hazards for feasibility of engineering controls
  • Ensure ventilation and water systems operate properly
  • Alter workspaces to maintain social distancing. Examples include:
    • Configure partitions as a barrier shield
    • Move electronic payment reader away from cashier
    • Use verbal announcements, signage, and visual cues to promote social distancing
    • Remove/rearrange furniture
    • Provide remote shopping alternatives (e.g., delivery, pick-up) 
(Management & Communications)
  • Monitor state and local public health communications about COVID-19
  • Encourage sick workers to report symptoms, stay home, and follow CDC guidance
  • Develop strategies to:
    • Manage worker concerns
    • Communicate with workers
  • Remind workers of available support services
  • Communicate to partners, suppliers, other contractors on policies and practices
  • Encourage social distancing and the use of cloth face coverings (if appropriate) in the workplace
  • Use technology to promote social distancing (e.g., telework and virtual meetings)
  • Cancel group events
  • Close/limit use of shared spaces
  • Ask customers who are ill to stay home
  • Consider policies that encourage flexible sick leave and alternative work schedules.
  • Schedule stocking during off-peak hours
(Cleaning & Disinfection)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, (e.g., counters, shelving, displays)
  • Provide employees with disposable disinfectant wipes, cleaner, or sprays that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19

Provide employees with training on:

  • Policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • General hygiene
  • Symptoms, what to do if sick
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Cloth face covers
  • Social distancing
  • Use of PPE
  • Safe work practices
  • Stress management
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Conduct workplace hazard assessment
  • Determine what PPE is needed for their workers’ specific job duties based on hazards and other controls present
  • Select and provide appropriate PPE to the workers at no cost.