OSHA Updated Guidance To Employers On Mitigating Spread Of COVID
On January 29, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released updated recommendations and guidance to employers regarding procedures and practices to follow to mitigate the spread of COVID -19 in the workplace.
Included in the announcement are several key recommendations–
— Conduct a hazard assessment;
— Identify 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; and
— Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns.
This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of existing mandatory safety and health standards.
The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in recognizing and abating hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation to provide a safe and healthful workplace.
There have been recent media reports that OSHA is developing a regulatory and enforcement structure related to COVID hazards which may be proposed in the next few weeks.
PPA member companies will want to review these recommendations to determine how their current policies compare.