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With the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issuing stronger workplace safety guidance that urges participation in workplace prevention programs, NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka recommended that New Jersey business owners take part in Workplace Infectious Disease Prevention certification training programs like those currently offered by NJBIA. 

“It is critical that business owners recognize that even as capacities and vaccinations increase, there will still remain liability challenges and the need to have certified plans in place to maintain optimum protections,” Siekerka said.  

Receiving healthy business certifications like those offered at NJBIA helps better identify risks that could lead to COVID-19 exposure and contraction, and ultimately installs higher confidence levels in employees and patrons.” 

More than 100 companies have now had their plans and procedures for a healthy and safe workplace approved as part of NJBIA’s Healthy Business Certification online course, launched last fall. 

A Workplace Infectious Disease Prevention training course, administered by PeakPerformance, introduces businesses and their employees to the basic practices of identifying, reducing, eliminating and reporting hazards associated with their work. The best practices are derived from OSHA, CDC and WHO guidance. 

Attendees work with instructors to develop workplace procedures and a documented plan. At the completion of the course, they submit their plan to be certified. 

An NJBIA Healthy Business Certificate is then issued, along with a safety decal to display at the business location. 

With a recent law enacted that creates a rebuttable presumption that essential employees who contract COVID-19 did so at work, NJBIA continues to urge businesses to have formal sanitation protocols in place as they reopen to the public. 

“Protecting customers and employees is a priority for business owners,” Siekerka added. “With this new law that could result in increased worker’s compensation insurance costs, it’s even more incumbent for business owners to certify their best practices for a safe and healthy workplace.” 

A video list of the first businesses and nonprofits to receive NJBIA Healthy Business Certifications was released last week on social media. 

Participating businesses have lauded the program. 

“The course offered valuable information to help us adjust to the new ‘normal’ we are facing as a business in regard to safety standards/protocols related to COVID-19,” said James Canning, owner of GoodSports USA, an indoor sports and family entertainment center in Wall Township. 

“We feel the health and safety of both our employees and customers is one of our top priorities. We thank NJBIA for offering this certification!” 

“Having this certificate and emblem in place for all of our employees and visitors to see brings a great amount of satisfaction and peace of mind,” said Joe Hoffman, vice president of environmental, health and safety at Chelton House, a food manufacturer and distributor in Swedesboro. 

“This certification adds just another fundamental value of good things that we are doing at Chelten House during these trying times.” 

The three-hour course is available to NJBIA members and nonmembers alike. For more information on the training course, click here.