ENVIRONMENT DEPARTMENT NEWS
New webform will ensure robust workplace safety practices in place, save employers time
In an effort to continue to ensure New Mexico workplaces are safe, to help businesses safely stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to make it easier, more efficient and more accurate to report positive COVID-19 cases among employees, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) launched a new webform for employers. Through the online portal, employers are able to not only report positive employee cases within 4 hours as required by regulation, but also to simultaneously complete the rapid response process.
Benefits of the new tool include:
· 24/7 availability, providing employers the flexibility to report employee cases at any time of day or night, within 4 hours as required by regulation
· Multiple reports may be filed at one time
· Enhanced record management capabilities, resulting in easier tracking for employer
· Direct reporting of positive cases by employers, freeing up valuable Occupational Health and Safety Bureau resources for other critical work, including fatality and injury investigations
· Allows NMED Rapid Response team to spend more time with employers who need additional assistance with the rapid response or reporting process
NMED works with employers to complete rapid responses following notification of positive cases by ensuring infected employees are isolated, close contacts are identified and quarantined, workplaces are disinfected and COVID-Safe Practices are in place to prevent virus transmission. The portal allows employers to complete these steps without the direct assistance of NMED – unless requested – making the process more streamlined and convenient while continuing to ensure employee safety.
“We are grateful to employers for all the work they do every day to protect their employees,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “This new portal will increase employee safety and prevent transmission of COVID as it speeds up our rapid responses and reduces the burden on employers – it’s a win-win.”
“I no longer have to carry a binder full of information while I wait to get a call from the rapid response team and am also saving a lot of time spent on phone calls and writing emails,” said Jessica Canales, Director of Training and Human Resources at Blake’s Lotaburger. “We are committed to our employees’ safety, and we appreciate the Environment Department taking steps for us to do so more efficiently.”
“This new system makes it so much easier to report positive cases and work through the rapid response process,” said Francine Campos, Chief Human Resources Manager at Albuquerque-based National Roofing Company. “Keeping our New Mexico employees safe is now more convenient than ever.”
If an employer does not take report positive employees within four hours or take required rapid response steps, NMED will take enforcement action, including imposing penalties and taking legal action.