October 14, 2021

Guidance Outlines Recommendations for Infection Prevention and Control Plans

A new document published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program outlines guidance for building an occupational infection prevention and control plan for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The document lists key elements for employers to consider including in their infection prevention and control plans to facilitate readiness and preparedness in the workplace. According to NIEHS, written infection prevention and control plans for occupational settings should be comprehensive yet adaptable, and tailored to meet industry and site-specific needs. Plans should be based on a comprehensive workplace risk assessment and monitored to ensure effectiveness.

“While engineering controls like ventilation and airflow at the facility level are important, it is likely they are not effective on their own,” the guidance stresses. “Therefore, plans should also consider factors that affect airflow at the worker level, including where they are physically, what tasks are being performed, and what barriers in the vicinity might impede proper airflow and increase risk of exposure.”

NIEHS lists health screening and medical management, personal protective equipment, face coverings, administrative controls, training, physical distancing and spacing, and cleaning and disinfection among the essential components of an infection prevention and control plan. The institute’s document also provides a list of templates for model plans from organizations like OSHA and CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training.

View all of NIEHS’ recommendations in its new COVID-19 brief (PDF).