The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines prescribe a series of engineering controls for reducing the risk of workplace COVID-19 transmission.
Configure communal work environments so that workers are spaced at least six feet apart, if possible. Current information about the asymptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2 supports the need for social distancing and other protective measures within a manufacturing work environment. Changes in production practices may be necessary in order to maintain appropriate distances among workers.
Modify the alignment of workstations, including along production or assembly lines, if feasible, so that workers are at least six feet apart in all directions (e.g., side-to-side and when facing one another), when possible. Ideally, modify the alignment of workstations so that workers do not face one another. Consider using markings and signs to remind workers to maintain their location at their station away from each other and practice social distancing on breaks.
Use physical barriers, such as strip curtains, plexiglass or similar materials, or other impermeable dividers or partitions to separate manufacturing workers from each other, if feasible.
Facilities should consider consulting with a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning engineer to ensure adequate ventilation in work areas to help minimize workers’ potential exposures.
If fans such as pedestal fans or hard-mounted fans are used in the facility, take steps to minimize air from fans blowing from one worker directly at another worker. Personal cooling fans should be removed from the workplace to reduce the potential spread of any airborne or aerosolized viruses. If fans are removed, employers should remain aware of, and take steps to prevent, heat hazards.
Place handwashing stations or hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene. If possible, choose hand sanitizer stations that are touch-free. See OSHA’s Sanitation Standard (29 CFR 1910.141), which requires employers to provide handwashing facilities for workers.
Add additional clock in/out stations, if possible, that are spaced apart, to reduce crowding in these areas. Consider alternatives such as touch-free methods or staggering times for workers to clock in/out.
Remove or rearrange chairs and tables, or add partitions to tables, in break rooms, and other areas workers may frequent to increase worker separation. Identify alternative areas to accommodate overflow volumes such as training and conference rooms, or using outside tents for break and lunch areas.