March 23, 2020
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided information and guidance for employers and employees regarding the coronavirus outbreak. OSHA has created a website specifically for Safety and Health Topics for COVID-19. This website provides several guidance documents just issued by OSHA and outlines existing standards that may be relevant to providing a safe workplace and responding to virus conditions.
The website includes a Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. This Guidance includes some basic information about COVID-19 and steps that employers can take to reduce the risk of exposure. The Guidance helps employers identify risk levels in the workplace and recommends that employers take steps to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), where applicable, to reduce those risks.
In the Guidance, OSHA recommends that employers:
The Guidance provides additional information and suggestions for each recommendation.
The OSHA website also provides information regarding the existing OSHA Standards. There is no specific OSHA standard for COVID-19, but OSHA outlines some existing standards that may be relevant, including:
OSHA also reminds employers to check state plans where applicable.
Employers are likely already taking a number of the measures recommended by the OSHA website for Safety and Health Topics for COVID-19. Reviewing the website is a good way to check that appropriate measures are in place and a good way to keep up to date on any evolving guidance from OSHA as more information may become available.
These materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.