June 18, 2020

OSHA Highlights Its Current Coronavirus Guidance

An OSHA news release published on Monday summarizes the coronavirus-related guidance currently available from the agency. OSHA’s guidance on issues such as social distancing (PDF) and identifying and isolating sick workers is intended to complement guidelines from the White House as well as the agency’s “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” a set of recommendations published in March and intended to help employers prevent or slow occupational spread of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. OSHA reminds employers that “worker safety remains a priority” as the United States economy reopens following the shutdown of businesses in most industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In all phases of reopening, employers need to plan for potential hazards related to the coronavirus, as well as those stemming from routine workplace processes,” OSHA states.

The agency urges employers to “carefully plan” prior to increasing production or tasks to avoid exposing workers to additional health and safety hazards. OSHA also recommends that employers provide workers with refresher training and address maintenance issues that may have been deferred during the shutdown. Employers should also consult the agency’s guidance related to coronavirus testing, temperature checks and health screenings, and the need for personal protective equipment during the pandemic.

OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage collects agency resources for employers and workers about the coronavirus pandemic.