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New Prevention and Guidance from OSHA on COVID-19 in the Workplace

New Prevention and Guidance from OSHA on COVID-19 in the Workplace

On Jan. 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Their guidance is intended to assist and inform employers and workers in settings outside of healthcare regarding the risks of exposure or contracting COVID-19 at work. OSHA’s guidance is meant to help employers and workers determine appropriate COVID-19 control measures for their respective workplaces. 

Important highlights:

  • The guidance contains recommendations, but also includes the mandatory safety and health standards that have already been established.
  • The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthy workplace.

guidance purpose

OSHA released this guidance to help employers plan their COVID-19 prevention and mitigation procedures. With this guidance, OSHA is suggesting that employers should implement COVID-19 prevention programs. According to OSHA, the most effective programs engage workers and their union or representatives in the program’s development. The guidance covers the following:

  • Hazard assessments;
  • Measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 (roles of employers and workers and training on COVID-19);
  • Isolation or separation measures of infected workers from the workplace (physical distancing, installing barriers or staying home);
  • Use of personal protective equipment; and
  • Improvements in ventilation, hygiene and sanitation measures. 

OSHA will continue to update the guidance over time as new developments arise. OSHA intends to include additional situation- and industry-specific guidance in the future.

what’s next?

Employers should review this new guidance carefully and implement any new recommendations as applicable. In addition, employers should continue to monitor the OSHA website for any changes in COVID-19 best practices and standards. 

 This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. ©2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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