The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated guidance and recommendations for businesses that is intended to help employers and workers to identify COVID-19 exposure risks and provide helpful information to workers who are unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk, and to help them take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection.
Unless otherwise required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, most employers no longer need to take extra steps to protect their fully vaccinated workers because their risk has been greatly reduced. The guidance primarily focuses only on protecting unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces (or well-defined portions of workplaces).
The Guidance Contains Recommendations Such As
- Granting paid time off for employees to get vaccinated
- Instructing any workers who are infected, unvaccinated workers who have had close contact with someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and all workers with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home from work
- Implementing physical distancing criteria for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers in all communal work areas
- Providing unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers with face coverings or surgical masks, unless their work task requires a respirator or other PPE
- Educating and training workers on your COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in language they understand
- Requesting that unvaccinated customers, visitors, or guests wear face coverings
- Maintaining the ventilation systems and improving air quality throughout the building
- Performing routine cleaning and disinfection
- Recording and reporting COVID-19 infections and death
- Implementing protections from retaliation and set up an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards
The recommendations are advisory in nature and informational in content and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
Click here for a full list of OSHA recommendations to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace