Readiness Actions Modification Plan (RAMP)
Salt Lake City is modifying essential City operations to continue providing high quality services while protecting the health, safety, and general wellbeing of employees and community members. The Readiness Actions Modification Plan (RAMP) addresses the recent and highly disruptive challenges of COVID-19. It creates a common framework across City operations to evaluate best health and safety practices for the Salt Lake City workforce.
- Is a citywide guide on how Salt Lake City will modify operations to continue performing essential functions.
- Groups City employees into five work environments because City employees do not have universal work risks.
- Summarizes impacts and internal and external operations guidelines for the various work environments based on risk level.
The RAMP is designed to provide clarity to employees and community members as the City reopens facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees and the public expect the City to speak with calm, informed authority, and expect a thoughtful vision. Presenting a cohesive plan for reopening creates confidence. It enhances and builds on existing emergency operation plans by bringing in technical expertise to create recommendations and a set of focused and concise step-by-step guidelines for departments.
The RAMP will be a supplement to the City’s emergency operations plans. It is limited to City operations and facilities. It provides a common framework so Salt Lake City and its employees can confidently modify and understand their workplace at various threat levels during a pandemic/infectious disease emergency. The Chief Administrative Officer, or designee, will use guidelines to determine if the RAMP needs to be activated. The same command and control structure detailed in emergency operation plans will be used during an infectious disease emergency. If necessary, the Mayor will declare an emergency such by proclamation and shall have the authority to impose all necessary regulations to preserve the peace and order of the City.
The citywide functions and facilities addressed in the RAMP will be modified based on best health and safety information made available by local and national public health officials. On occasion, it may become necessary to perform an internal Health & Safety Risk Assessment in order to craft best practices and policies for specific questions or challenges. The RAMP is developed, reviewed, and maintained in accordance with the procedures detailed in the City’s emergency operations plans and subsequent Continuity of Operations Plans.
The RAMP presents internal staff a high-level overview on when and whether to modify departmental functions during an emergency. It gives department heads the flexibility to implement modifications in the way they believe is best for their employees. The RAMP uses a four-tiered system describing levels of risk during an emergency response activation as a guide for when to implement changes in City department and division operations.
New Normal (green)
- Infectious diseases or pandemic events pose a minimal immediate risk to residents, visitors, and staff.
- The City may conduct normal business and monitor threats or modify operations and activities to prevent the spread of disease.
Low Risk (yellow)
- Infectious diseases or pandemic events pose an increased risk to residents, visitors, and staff.
- City operations and activities may be modified or canceled due to absenteeism or to prevent the spread of disease.
Moderate Risk (orange)
- Infectious diseases or pandemic events pose a significant risk to residents, visitors, and staff.
- City operations and activities may be modified or canceled due to absenteeism or to prevent the spread of disease.
High Risk (red)
- Infectious diseases or pandemic events pose a major risk to residents, visitors, and staff.
- City operations will be modified or suspended due to absenteeism or to prevent the spread of disease.
- Gatherings, activities, and some non-essential functions may be ceased for a period of time.
Five Work Environments
Due to the variety in the type of services delivered and safety needs, the RAMP has been broken down into five different work environments. Some employees may fall into multiple work environments. Department/Division Directors and employees need to review all areas to create protocols that best meet the needs of their department. The five work environments are:
- Employees who work at a desk, and who may have little interaction with the public.
- Examples are employees who work on special projects, finance/payments, human resources, communications, and more.
- Employees who spend much, if not all, of their time in a warehouse or workshop.
- Example is employees who work on City fleet maintenance.
Public Utilities/Infrastructure Environment
- Employees who are out in the city working on infrastructure and utility maintenance and repairs.
- Examples are employees working on facility maintenance, streets, and landscaping.
Public Safety Environment
- Employees who work in the public on projects involving public safety.
- Include fire personnel, police officers, street maintenance and road crews, and emergency management personnel.
Customer Service Area Environment
- Employees who frequently interact with the public, whether in an office or open-space setting.
- Examples are office assistants, event managers, and compliance officers.
The RAMP outlines what needs to happen within each work environment during the four risk levels. The five work environments and modifications are detailed into specific areas. The list of modifications is not exhaustive and varies depending on work environment, department, and/or division. The plan allows department or division directors the flexibility to implement modifications in the way they believe is best for their employees and their operations.
- Modifications within the work environment that specifically impact the internal functions of employees.
- Modifications within the work environment that impact communication with outside agencies and the public.
- The amount of services allowed and offered within each work environment.
- How the public will be impacted with changes in service levels and communications.
- The policies that may need to be changed to accommodate transitions in the level of service, communication, and other employee impacts.
- Changes in workspaces that need to be maintained to create a safer environment.
- Actions employees must take to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
The RAMP also includes safety measure instructions for all City employees and members of the public visiting City facilities. They are based on recommendations from the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), Utah Association of Local Health Department (UALHD), State of Utah Governor’s Office, OSHA, CDC, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and BOMA International on returning to a new normal. If a department feels additional or modified instructions need to be in place for its employees, it must consult with the Mayor’s Office before implementing. Department directors are responsible for monitoring safety guidelines and whether employees comply with guidelines.
- Employees are expected to wash or sanitize their hands when first arriving to work, after sneezing or coughing, after touching their face/face covering, after having contact with commonly touched surfaces, and when leaving work.
Health screenings are temperature checks and questions about virus symptoms.
- All employees should go through a health screening before starting work or entering City-owned buildings. Employees do not need to go through a health screening after their lunch break if they stay in the same City building they work in. If an employee leaves the building for lunch, they will need to go through a health screening again before entering a City-owned building. Employees who work outside in public spaces must go through a health screening before their work shift, but not necessarily following their lunch break, unless they enter a City-owned building.
- Temperatures will be taken in a non-invasive manner by an employee who has been trained by HR in taking and logging temperatures.
- Temperatures should be taken with a touchless thermometer, if possible. Thermometers must be sanitized after each use.
- If an employee’s temperature is at or above 100.4 F at two readings they will not be allowed to work until they meet CDC’s guidelines on the matter.
- Following temperature checks, employees will be asked questions on whether they are experiencing symptoms. If an employee answers yes to having a fever and yes to having two (or more) of any of the symptoms, they should not be allowed to work and not be allowed in City-owned buildings until they meet CDC’s guidelines on the matter.
- Health screening locations inside City buildings will be determined within guidance set forth through architectural protocol assessment, while health screening locations that take place outside due to employees working in public spaces will be determined by Department directors. Employees who are late due to health screenings should be excused as long as they have informed their supervisor of a pending health screening.
- The public will be encouraged to go through health screenings when entering City buildings.
- Any concerns about returning to the workplace, or any requests for accommodations, should be addressed with supervisors on a case-by-case basis. Supervisors should strive to ensure there are enough staff on duty so essential job functions are completed. Employees with concerns about returning to the office on behalf of child/family care or a child’s school schedule should also talk with their supervisor about the possibility of accommodations and these situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Determination of PPE to be used by personnel will be determined by an evaluation of risk of exposure by the employee’s supervisor in conjunction with OSHA guidance.
- Training on PPE use will be provided by individual departments.
- PPE will be provided by the department.
- All City employees are required to wear face coverings when working in City buildings or public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Face coverings for employees will be provided by City departments, and they should meet appropriate CDC guidelines.
- Reusable face coverings must be washed between each use, typically one work shift of wearing the face covering.
- Disposable face coverings must be disposed of properly after one use, typically one work shift of wearing the face covering.
- Employees are responsible for ensuring their face coverings are washed, or disposed of, between each use.
Employees do not need to wear face coverings if:
- They are on a lunch break
- They work alone in City vehicles and/or buildings
- They work in public environments where 6 feet social distancing may be maintained.
- Employees in public environments must always have a mask with them, and wear it when they are not able to maintain 6 feet distance.
- The general public will be encouraged to wear face coverings and social distance when inside City-owned/operated buildings.
The new protocols and guidelines will be communicated to employees and the public for common understanding.
Department directors, in consultation with the Mayor’s Office, will determine when their employees should return to the workplace.
Project Sponsors: Lisa Shaffer, Lorna Vogt
Project Managers: Corey Rushton, Lacey Johnson
Project Communications: Elizabeth Buehler, Kyle Strayer, Rachel Dexheimer
When do I need to return to working in the office?
The City will reopen work and public spaces based on data, not dates. The City is closely monitoring health numbers from the State of Utah and County Health Department. Openings will be based on when the City can keep its staff and the public safe. It will not be based on arbitrary deadlines.
When the City does reopen, staff will return based on their work environments, as different safety measures are needed in different environments. Considerations are also made for high risk employees and those who must consider child care/family care needs. Department directors, in consultation with the Mayor’s Office, will determine when their employees should return.
Will temperature checks, along with health screening questions, be mandatory for employees?
Yes, health screenings (which include a temperature check and questions on virus symptoms) will be required before an employee enters a City building, or before their work shift. Health screenings will be consistent with Citywide policy considering PHI/HIPPA. Health screening locations inside City buildings will be determined within guidance set forth through architectural protocol assessment, while health screening locations that take place outside due to employees working in public spaces, will be determined by Department directors.
Employees who are late due to health screenings should be excused as long as they have informed their supervisor of a pending health screening.
What happens if an employee fails a temperature check or health screening question?
The employee and their supervisor must follow the actions in the Employee Decision Tree, COVID-19 Resource for Supervisors. Employees cannot return to work until they meet CDC’s guidelines on the matter.
What is the protocol for an employee who is uncomfortable returning to their usual work environment?
Employees who are concerned about returning to their usual work environment, or who have any requests for accommodations, should talk with their supervisors and HR about work options. Accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis. To limit liability to the City, as well as follow a fair and consistent threshold, it is necessary for us to follow the American’s with Disabilities Act protocol identified in response to COVID-19.
How will employees’ privacy be maintained while conducting and keeping records of temperature checks and health screenings?
Health screenings will be conducted by a designated employee(s) who has been trained, through SLC’s Human Resources Department, in taking and logging temperatures. The employee(s) conducting health screenings will record information for each employee following PHI/HIPAA guidelines for all basic health screenings conducted including the confidential maintaining of any records that are created.
Will consideration be given if an employee needs to arrange for child or family care before being required to return to the office?
Employees with concerns about returning to the office on behalf of child or family care should talk with their supervisor about work options. Additionally, if employees have concerns about their child’s school schedule and work, they should talk with their supervisor about accommodations.
Will employees be required to wear face coverings at work?
Generally, yes. Employees are not required to wear a face covering during their lunch break if they maintain 6 feet of social distancing, they work alone in City vehicles and/or buildings, or they work in public environments where six feet of social distancing can be maintained. Employees in public environments must have a face covering on their person to wear if social distancing cannot be maintained. Employees must wear face coverings at all other times. Employees not wearing face coverings when required may be subject to disciplinary action.
What will be asked of the public visiting City buildings?
Customers and members of the public visiting City buildings will be encouraged to do health screenings (i.e. temperature checks and answering questions), and be encouraged to wear a mask when entering, exiting, and being inside City buildings.
What is the level of services expected to be offered in-person in City buildings?
Guidelines to what services will be provided in-person are based on the established health and safety threat level. Detailed guidelines are found per employee work environments in the RAMP Guide.
What is the City doing to create a safe workplace environment for its employees?
The City is cleaning workspaces. A safety assessment and reconfiguration of workspaces should be conducted by each department. Alterations and reconfigurations to workspaces will take place in conjunction with guidance from architectural protocol studies that will establish consistent standards and oversee appropriate remodeling. General direction is given for employee workstations, general office space, lobby and common areas, conference rooms, elevators and stairwells, restrooms, and ventilation.
What safety measures are employees expected to follow at work?
Besides having daily health screenings, and wearing face coverings, employees are asked to follow certain guidelines to maintain the health of other City staff and the public. Employees should wash their hands or sanitize them when first arriving to work, after sneezing or coughing, after touching their face or face covering, after having contact with commonly touched surfaces, and when leaving work. If elevators are in use, the number of riders encouraged will be two at a time. Department directors are responsible for monitoring safety guidelines and whether employees comply with the guidelines. Employees who do not comply with safety guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action.
What if an employee does not follow the City’s safety guidelines?
Employees who are not following City safety guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action.
Are special considerations given to employees returning to work in buildings that suffered earthquake damage?
There is no damage to any city building from the March earthquake that would not allow it to be occupied by employees or visited by the public. While the City & County Building’s east and west exterior stairs were damaged and need repair, temporary stairs will be installed at the north and south entrances. The ADA entrance was not damaged.