Contributor: Safesite Jurisdiction: OSHA
Reference this guidelines list to ensure that your company is well-informed and has made all necessary changes to account for the risk associated with working through a global pandemic like COVID-19.
1. COVID-19 is a serious respiratory illness that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and sickened millions of people around the world. Although in a population of 300 million plus you may not know anyone with serious COVID-19, the threat of infection and consequences of contracting the illness have to be taken seriously. Here are some facts about COVID-19:
2. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person.
3. Everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19.
4. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world.
5. COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness.
6. Some people infected with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms but can still spread the disease.
7. You can become infected by coming into close contact (about 6 feet or two arm lengths) with a person who has COVID-19.
8. COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person.
9. You can become infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
10. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more severe illness.
11. The Company cannot retaliate against you if you report symptoms or illness from COVID-19. They also can’t require you to show negative COVID-19 test results in order to return to work.
12. So, what can you and I do once we understand the risks from COVID-19 and how easy it is to transmit from worker to worker and to workers from members of the public?
13. Stay home and call your supervisor if you have symptoms such as: Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, congestion, headache, muscle/body aches, fatigue, loss of smell or taste. (The Company cannot retaliate against workers reporting COVID-19 illness or symptoms and in some states is required to offer testing and maintain wages for work-related COVID-19 cases.)
14. Also stay home and call your supervisor if you had contact with anyone who had a positive COVID-19 test, or also has the symptoms above.
15. Fully participate in the Company’s pre-work screening process to ensure you are symptom-free when reporting for work.
16. Wear a face covering at work that covers the nose and mouth.
17. Evaluate workstations and cubicles and redesign them to ensure six feet of distance or realign such that employees are not facing each other. Where realignment is not possible, install solid barriers between workstations.
18. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
19. Get in the habit of disinfecting high-touch surfaces like copy machines, microwave ovens and touchscreens before and after you use them.
20. Ensure that visitors, customers and contractors are screened (if possible) and required to wear face coverings when interacting with our employees.
21. Install visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, etc. to remind customers to maintain a safe distance from employees.
22. Evaluate offices, meeting rooms and break areas and limit the number of people who can occupy them to ensure social distancing.
23. Evaluate entryways, corridors and store aisles and consider requiring one-way foot traffic to limit interactions.
24. Where not possible to separate people, install strip curtains, plastic barriers or similar materials to create an impermeable barrier.
25. When off work, avoid gatherings of people you don't live with, wear a face covering and practice social distancing per your local regulations.
26. During the pandemic businesses and manufacturers must continue operating to support our customers and employees, but we can minimize the risk by implementing the common-sense actions above. Despite the benefits of not being sick or spreading COVID-19 to your family, the company needs you at work and healthy.
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