As states begin to ease lockdown restrictions, many businesses are looking for ways to reopen while maintaining social distancing guidelines and protecting their employees.
To help businesses prevent outbreaks in their workplaces, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an alert listing ways employers can limit worker exposure to the coronavirus.
According to OSHA, safety measures businesses can implement include:
- Encouraging workers to stay home if they are sick;
- Isolating any worker who begins to exhibit symptoms until they can either go home or leave to seek medical care;
- Establishing flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), if feasible;
- Staggering breaks and rearranging seating in common break areas to maintain physical distance between workers;
- In workplaces where customers are present, marking six-foot distances with floor tape in areas where lines form, using drive-through windows or curbside pickup and limiting the number of customers allowed at one time;
- Moving or repositioning workstations to create more distance and installing plexiglass partitions; and
- Encouraging workers to bring any safety and health concerns to the employer’s attention.
The new alert is available for download in English and Spanish.
These measures aim to address concerns many employees have about safely returning to work and provide a roadmap for employers to implement the necessary measures to alleviate these concerns and provide a safe and healthy work environment.
OSHA has also published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and other recommendations to educate workers and employers on how to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.
For more comprehensive coronavirus resources, visit abc.org/coronavirus.