OSHA has issued stronger workplace coronavirus guidance designed to mitigate and prevent the spread of the virus in the workplace.

The new guidance contains updated recommendations and outlines existing safety and health standards.

“The most effective programs engage workers and their union or other representatives in the program's development,” OSHA said in its new workplace guidance.

The guidance recommends that every prevention program:

  • Conduct a hazard assessment
  • Identify control measures to limit spread of the virus
  • Adopt employee absence policies that aren't punitive so as to encourage potentially infected workers to stay home
  • Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to English and non-English speaking workers
  • Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns

Key Steps

The guidance details key steps employers can take to limit the virus’ spread.

These include making sure infected or potentially infected people are not in the workplace, following social distancing protocols, and using face masks.

The guidance also provides recommendations for using personal protective equipment, improving ventilation, and routine cleaning.

OSHA stressed that the new guidance is not a standard or regulation, and creates no new legal obligations for employers. 

The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to help employers recognize and abate hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm, the agency said.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).