You are now in the main content area

Assessing Departmental Operations

By understanding the levels of risk of exposure to COVID-19 in your areas and developing corresponding protocols, you can further minimize the risk of exposure for your teams. 

As a leader, the first two tasks you need to complete to minimize risk to your employees are:

  1. Encouraging remote work where possible, and bringing back only those employees who need to be on campus to support an increase of on-campus activity in the fall.
  2. Conducting a risk assessment and implementing health and safety measures including physical distancing in the department through signage and other recommendations.

Conduct a risk assessment for activities occurring on campus

Employees may be exposed to COVID-19 through:

  • Personal interactions, meaning contact with people who have symptoms through droplet transmission.
  • Contact with contaminated surfaces.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) has created a risk assessment tool, which all areas can use to help create health and safety plans for their areas. EHS staff are available to assist in the risk assessment and health and safety planning processes. These measures will include:

  • daily health screening for those coming to campus
  • physical distancing 
  • mask use

Operation or task specific measures, which are based on the specific risks, may include:

  • floor decals
  • plexiglass or other barriers
  • the use of personal protective equipment (e.g. face shields, eye protection, medical masks)

Consider modifying the activity to decrease the risk

Considerations to help departments reduce or eliminate the risk include:

  • Could the activity that requires personal interaction be eliminated altogether? 
  • Could the activity change to be safer (e.g. perform online or by phone)?
  • Can you take other steps to make it safer, such as:
    • sanitation of equipment between uses 
    • rotating shifts to limit personal interactions
    • floor markers to encourage physical distancing
    • limit the number of people in the area by adding signage
    • physical distancing


If you require additional assistance or have questions in developing your return to campus plan, please reach out to your HR partner or Environmental Health and Safety at