State Issues New COVID-19 Essential Workplace Rules
The Lamont administration issued new mandatory safe workplace rules April 7 for essential businesses and other organizations allowed to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.
The rules, which took immediate effect, outline additional protective measures designed to maintain safe workplaces.
The latest release follows guidance distributed April 1 for Connecticut retail stores.
“We appreciate the administration issuing this comprehensive and practical guidance for keeping workers and workplaces safe during the current pandemic,” said Eric Brown, CBIA vice president for manufacturing policy and outreach.
“CBIA is receiving dozens of calls and emails each day from companies seeking advice on how to protect their workforce and customers.
“This guidance will be a great help to thousands of businesses across our state.”
Download and print this two-sided poster for display in your workplace and/or distribute through email or your intranet as a PDF file.
The rules, developed by the Department of Economic and Community Development, recommend that employers adjust scheduling or add shifts to reduce the number of employees in the workplace simultaneously.
“Keep each shift with the same people each day,” the order advises, “that way if a person on one shift becomes sick, workers on others shifts are protected.”
Companies should provide time between shifts to avoid overlap and allow for workplace cleaning, and stagger start, stop, break, and lunch times to minimize employees congregating in one area.
“Where possible, close or restrict break rooms and cafeterias, and have employees bring lunch from home and eat at work stations or in cars,” the rules recommend.
Employers should increase ventilation and the amount of outdoor air that circulates through the facility.
And, where possible, employers should segment the workplace into zones and prohibit employees from entering zones where they don’t work.
Controlling contact among employees is important, with recommendations to eliminate in-person meetings, discourage carpooling, and provide masks whenever close personal contact is unavoidable.
Other suggestions include:
- Increasing physical space between customers and employees through the use of drive-through windows and Plexiglass partitions
- Delivering and receiving products curbside where possible
- Reducing common touchpoints by opening internal doors
- Installing no-touch receptacles or removing from nonhazardous bins lids that require contact to open
- Frequently cleaning all touchpoints with effective disinfectants
- Prohibiting workers from using coworkers’ phones, desks, offices, work tools, or other equipment
- Requiring employees to clean their workspace at the start and end of each shift
Employers should adopt these steps for workers deemed essential:
- Tell them to stay home if sick
- Take their temperature upon arrival and send them home if it’s above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Make hand sanitizer available
- Place posters at the workplace entrance and in other prominent areas that encourage hand hygiene to help stop the spread
- Encourage employees to follow CDC guidelines for preventing transmission of coronavirus
Employers should not allow non-essential visitors in facilities, should interview approved visitors about their recent health and travel history, and take temperatures on arrival.
Construction site orders include:
- Cleaning portable bathrooms no less that once every two days
- Requiring workers to travel separately to, from, and within worksites
- Maximizing the amount of work being done outdoors while limiting work indoors and in areas lacking significant fresh air
- Shifting work to limit crew sizes on a job site, especially indoors
- Rotating lunch and coffee breaks and requiring workers to follow social distancing guidelines during meals or breaks
- Following all safety and health protocols when using an elevator
- Providing an adequate supply of PPE and hand sanitizer
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).
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