Wear Gloves While Working
All staff must wear gloves when handling any “food product.”
New York State has issued guidelines for businesses operating under the phased re-opening. The guidelines are entirely focused on ensuring that New York State businesses place COVID-19 health and safety at the forefront of their re-opening (or in our case ongoing) operations. It is a sobering document to read, largely because it makes crystal clear that the difficult changes to behavior we have all recently adopted will be with us for the foreseeable future. This runs counter to the natural human desire to “get back to normal”, and so is an important reminder to remain vigilant and thorough about all our newly learned COVID-19 related practices – cleaning and otherwise. The document does not have an end date, meaning that the guidance contained within is relevant to our operations until further notice. The State will continue to update the guidelines, and we will continue to pay attention to updates and make any necessary changes to Coop operations.
Specifically, the document contains language that motivates us to issue another health and safety requirement for staff about the wearing of gloves: “Responsible Parties must ensure gloves are worn while handling any food products.”
As a result, all staff must wear gloves when handling any “food product,” including handling the products purchased by shopping membership while you are working a checkout.
This requirement applies also to food processing and receiving staff at all points in the chain of receiving and stocking food (from the sidewalk to the basement to the shopping floor), and to front-end staff working checkouts.
Gloves can be cloth receiving gloves, plastic (non-latex) gloves or nitrile gloves. Gloves regularly available at the SL desk, and at the glove stations in various locations around the Coop where you can find gloves — SL desk, Receiving area, outside the Membership Office. Generally speaking, the gloves should be left at the Coop at the end of the day (plastic gloves are being recycled at the glove stations) for laundering. If you prefer to have a pair of the nitrile gloves that are your own pair, please see a member of the permanent staff. In this case, please feel free to take two pairs, label them with your name, and be prepared to take them home and launder them between shifts.
If you wear cloth gloves, please change them every hour. Soiled cloth receiving gloves should be put into one of the laundry containers. Cloth gloves with holes should be thrown away as you come across them (mending and recycling options are unavailable until further notice). We have a large back-up supply of cloth gloves adequate for these needs.
If you wear the plastic gloves, please take a new pair every hour OR sanitize the outside of the gloves every hour. Dispose of your gloves at one of the glove stations for recycling.
If you wear the nitrile gloves, please sanitize the outside of the gloves every hour and change into a second paid half-way through your shift. If you are using Coop nitrile gloves, put them into the laundry basket when you are done with them. If you have a personal pair of nitrile glove or any other gloves you brought from home, please take them home at the end of the day and launder them.
If you wear your own gloves brought from home, please make sure that they are either rubberized and can therefore be sanitized once an hour or that you bring enough pairs to change gloves at least once an hour.
If you have concerns or questions about this requirement, please communicate with your supervising GC.
We appreciate your cooperation in helping the Coop to adhere to the state guidelines. Your ongoing vigilance around this, and other, health and safety measures help to make the Coop as safe a workplace and shopping space as possible.