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OSHA Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for Employers

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Last week the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posted updated guidance regarding COVID-19, primarily focusing on the prevention of spreading the virus in the workplace. This is not an enforceable order or regulation. Some suggestions and best practices highlighted in the guidance include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Designating a workplace coordinator to oversee COVID-19 prevention programs and other related matters
  • Acknowledging and informing employees on how they may be exposed while at work and taking steps to reduce said exposure
    • Employees should remain physically distant in the workplace
    • Physical barriers should be in place where distancing is not possible
    • Employers should supply employees with appropriate PPE and hygienic supplies (face coverings, surgical masks, etc.)
    • Routine cleanings should be performed using products known by the EPA to fight the virus
    • Wearing face covering complimentary to (not as a replacement for) physical distancing
    • Workers who have been vaccinated should continue following preventative measures such as physical distancing and the use of face coverings
  • If employees are exposed, measures should be adopted to allow them to be separated from others and sent home
    • An employee who showed symptoms should be placed in isolation until at least 10-days after the first symptoms appeared and they have been 24 hours without a fever.
      • Healthcare providers may determine an individual needs be isolated for longer than 10-days
    • An employee exposed but not showing symptoms should quarantine in accordance with CDC guidelines, which means staying home for 14-days after the last contact with someone that had COVID-19.
  • Telework should be allowed whenever possible to reduce the negative impact of isolation
  • Workers should also be educated on the availability of testing options/requirements along with their protection from retaliation if they raise concern regarding COVID-19
  • It is the employer’s responsibility to report work related cases of COVID-19 on their form 300 logs

If you would like to read the guidance in its entirety you can do so here.

Again, it is important to note that this guidance is not a standard or regulation. It is for planning and informational purposes for employers. With that said, there have been talks within the Biden Administration about issuing enforceable order(s) in the future in respect to COVID-19 in the workplace. ACCA will keep members informed regarding any updates on this issue.

Posted In: Government

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