OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) releases steps that all employers can take to reduce workers’ risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Keep reading to see what you can do;

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Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan

If one does not already exist, develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that can help guide protective actions against COVID-19.

Prepare to Implement Basic Infection Prevention Measures

For most employers, protecting workers will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures. As appropriate, all employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices.

Develop Policies and Procedures for Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick People

Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting workers, customers, visitors, and others at a worksite.

Develop, Implement, and Communicate About Workplace Flexibility and Protections

Be aware of workers’ concerns about pay, leave, safety, health, and other issues that may arise during infectious disease outbreaks. Provide adequate, usable, and appropriate training, education, and informational material about business-essential job functions and worker health and safety, including proper hygiene practices and the use of any workplace controls (including PPE). Informed workers who feel safe at work are less likely to be unnecessarily absent.

Implement Workplace Controls

During a COVID-19 outbreak, when it may not be possible to eliminate the hazard, the most effective protection measures are (listed from most effective to least effective): engineering controls, administrative controls, safe work practices (a type of administrative control), and PPE

Follow Existing OSHA Standards

The OSHA COVID-19 webpage provides additional information about OSHA standards and requirements, including requirements in states that operate their own OSHA-approved State Plans, recordkeeping requirements and injury/illness recording criteria, and applications of standards related to sanitation and communication of risks related to hazardous chemicals that may be in common sanitizers and sterilizers.
See: www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/standards.html

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“Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.” https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

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