Coronavirus (COVID-19) has dramatically changed our daily lives, at least for now and the foreseeable future. What tomorrow (or the next hour) will bring is a bit uncertain. In an effort to assist employers faced with unique challenges in the context of this pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new Alert and Guidance addressing best practices for minimizing and managing workplace concerns and risks related to COVID-19.
OSHA’s Guidance stresses the importance of planning to “reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public.” Employers are encouraged to use the Guidance to “help identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement.”
In contrast to the abundance of misinformation and confusion on this topic, OSHA’s COVID-19 Guidance provides clear and meaningful information regarding symptoms, how the virus spreads, the impact of a workplace outbreak, and most important steps employers can take to reduce risk of employee exposure. In addition to recommendations applicable to all workers, the Guidance usefully provides recommended control measures specific to low exposure risk jobs, medium exposure risk jobs and high exposure risk jobs.
OSHA’s COVID-19 Guidance is a helpful resource that should be a part of every employer’s planning efforts. If you have any questions regarding your compliance with the Act, please do not hesitate to contact McNees’ Labor and Employment Group.