OSHA | Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace

On January 29, 2021, in response to the President Biden Executive Order directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to update safety recommendations for businesses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued updated Guidance on Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

This guidance is intended to inform employers and workers in most workplace settings outside of healthcare to help them identify risks of being exposed to and/or contracting COVID-19 at work and to help them determine appropriate control measures to implement. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of existing mandatory safety and health standards.

Some of the Recommendations are discussed below:

  1. Assignment of a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues on the employer’s behalf.
  2. Identification of where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work.
  3. Identification of a combination of measures that will limit the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, in line with the principles of the hierarchy of controls.
  4. Consideration of protections for workers at higher risk for severe illness through supportive policies and practices.
  5. Establishment of a system for communicating effectively with workers and in a language they understand.
  6. Educate and train workers on your COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in a language they understand.
  7. Instruct workers who are infected or potentially infected to stay home and isolate or quarantine to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  8. Minimize the negative impact of quarantine and isolation on workers.
  9. Isolating workers who show symptoms at work.
  10. Performing enhanced cleaning and disinfection after people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 have been in the facility.
  11. Providing guidance on screening and testing.
  12. Recording and reporting COVID-19 infections and deaths.
  13. Implementing protections from retaliation and setting up an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.
  14. Making a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccination series available at no cost to all eligible employees.
  15. Not distinguishing between workers who are vaccinated and those who are not.

Read the complete Guidance HERE

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