May 6, 2020
A recent Washington Post headline read: “Thousands of OSHA complaints filed against companies for virus workplace safety concerns, records show.” The sub-headline stated: “Employees told regulators about failures to follow social distancing, lack of protective gear and other issues at scores of U.S. employers.”
To protect employees and stay ahead of safety and health issues as shelter-in-place orders are lifted, employers should pay careful attention to recent OSHA and CDC COVID-19-related guidance. OSHA has issued one-page industry-specific guidance documents for five industries:
- Restaurant and Beverage Vendors Offering Takeout or Curbside Pickup
- Package Delivery
- Retail (including pharmacies, supermarkets, and big box stores)
Also, OSHA has published a 32-page booklet, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, that classifies jobs by risk level based on the likelihood of occupational exposure. The risk levels are useful in determining appropriate work practices and precautions for employees.
Finally, the CDC has recently released two resources to help employers with the return-to-work process. The first resource provides guidance on three topics: “Should you consider opening?”; “Are recommended safety actions in place?”; and “Is ongoing monitoring in place?” The second resource provides guidance for implementing cleaning procedures.
Keep in mind that some state and local government agencies have more specific recommendations and requirements than those of OSHA and the CDC.
Let us know if we can help with next steps in business planning or if you have specific questions about OSHA compliance.
Our insights are published as a service to clients and friends. They are intended to be informational and do not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation.