New OSHA COVID-19 Guidance Seeks To Mitigate, Prevent Viral Spread In The Workplace
January 31, 2021
The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus protection program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction. Last week, President Biden directed OSHA to release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure.
Implementing a coronavirus protection program is the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus. The guidance announced recommends several essential elements in a prevention program:
Conduct a hazard assessment
Identify control measures to limit the spread of the virus
Adopt policies for employee absences that don’t punish workers as a way to encourage potentially infected workers to remain home
Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to both English and non-English speaking workers
Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns
Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace is available HERE and details key measures for limiting coronavirus’s spread, including ensuring infected or potentially infected people are not in the workplace, implementing and following physical distancing protocols and using surgical masks or cloth face coverings. It also provides guidance on use of personal protective equipment, improving ventilation, good hygiene and routine cleaning.