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FifthTheory Introduces Biosafety Assessment to Bolster COVID-19 Workplace Safety Strategies

The world is clearly facing an unprecedented challenge with the coronavirus pandemic crisis, including when it will be feasible to reopen economies across the globe. FifthTheory, a global provider of job-relevant personnel assessments, recognizes the need for organizations to be active partners in keeping local communities safe, healthy, and prosperous. To this end, the company is now focusing on helping organizations with their “reopening the economy” strategies via an assessment solution for identifying high biosafety mindset job candidates and current employees.

Andre Allen
Andre Allen

“We want businesses to get back on track, but only in the safest and most secure manner,” said Andre Allen, FifthTheory’s managing member and EVP of technology and operations. “Many of our clients are currently open for business where they offer in-store shopping and curbside pickup and delivery services for their customers. In essence, their employees are essential workers who are heroically helping all citizens cope with this pandemic.”

Eric Hutchison
Eric Hutchison

Eric Hutchison, EVP of strategic marketing at FifthTheory also noted, “Many of our customers are starting to contemplate how they can best follow any forthcoming state and federal mandates related to safely reopening their businesses. An important aspect of this challenge is how to best staff customer facing positions with safe, responsible, and service-oriented employees. That is why FifthTheory is pleased to introduce our new Biosafety Express Measure, a pre-offer behavioral risk assessment that can ensure better protection of employees and customers.”

New Biosafety Assessment

John Jones
John Jones

John Jones, EVP of research & development at FifthTheory, noted that this groundbreaking measure is a new type of biosafety risk management tool. “This instrument was developed for those organizations that need to reduce any risk of virus spread and contamination when placing their workers in close contact with customers, coworkers, and management. FifthTheory’s team of industrial psychologists have historically led the way in this area with the invention of the original safety consciousness assessment, and they have now bolstered that line of pre-employment screening measures with the biosafety express measure.”

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The new biosafety express measure can be added to organizations’ current personnel selection assessment batteries. If organizations are already screening their new hires and temporary workers for customer experience mindsets, for example, they can now add a supplemental pre-employment screening measure to ensure that these same workers will behave in a safe manner when around customers. The new biosafety express measure can also be used with employees returning to work to ensure that they will support all efforts to make in-store, curbside, and home delivery shopping experiences as safe as possible. Organizations will benefit from the use of this new measure in the following ways:

Behavioral Safety Screening. Organizations will be able to use a valid and reliable online behavioral screening tool with their job candidates and/or current employees returning to work to better ensure that these workers engage in safe, responsible, and preventive behaviors while working. The goal is to reduce the probability of workers spreading and/or contracting the COVID-19 virus in stores and other workplace settings. This proactive screening can then be followed up by comprehensive biosafety training specific to an organization’s culture and context.

Professional and Legal Compliance. Organizations will be able to use a pre-offer screening assessment that is not a medical test. This new job-relevant measure focuses on screening job candidates and/or employees on their propensity to exhibit safe workplace behaviors in terms of sanitation, social distancing, and customer protection. All organizations are encouraged to follow the guidance on reopening workplaces offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the US Department of Labor, among other governmental bodies.

Comprehensive Biosafety Strategy. Many organizations are adopting additional policies and procedures in their workplaces to ensure that all biohazards are effectively controlled, including the coronavirus. This includes more intense cleaning and disinfecting strategies, the use of in-store signs and markings that encourage social distancing, the installation of plexiglass at registers that blocks inadvertent airborne virus spread, and the use of face masks and other protective gear at work. It is important, however, that job candidates and employees returning to work also have a “biosafety mindset” that ensures that they will properly use all available and mandated safeguards so as to protect themselves, their coworkers, and all customers.

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Social Responsibility. Organizations will be able to keep their word to customers who want assurances that the physical places where they interact with employees—in grocery stores, drug stores, health care settings, curbside and home deliveries, and safety and security situations—are safe from behaviors that can facilitate the spread of this highly infectious disease. The use of a valid and reliable biosafety screening procedures is not a panacea. However, it is designed to increase the odds that organizations will provide the safest possible workplaces for their employees and virus-free shopping experiences for their customers.

Liability Management. Companies will be able to have another tool to control liability exposures and costs in the workplace. It will take a full arsenal of interventions to control this virus as the economy in general and businesses in particular reopen.

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