On Friday, Jan. 29, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace,” which provides updated guidance and recommendations and outlines existing safety and health standards.
The guidance recommends several essential elements in a prevention program:
- Conduct a hazard assessment
- Identify and control measures to limit the spread of the virus
- Adopt policies for employee absences that don’t punish workers as a way to encourage potentially infected workers to remain home
- Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to both English and non-English speaking workers
- Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns
The OSHA press release further states: “The guidance details key measures for limiting coronavirus’s spread, including ensuring infected or potentially infected people are not in the workplace, implementing and following physical distancing protocols and using surgical masks or cloth face coverings. It also provides guidance on use of personal protective equipment, improving ventilation, good hygiene and routine cleaning.”
ABC is currently reviewing the new guidance and will continue to provide further updates in Newsline.
More information about the steps ABC has taken to help members keep workers safe is available in the COVID-19 Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction.