Are you up to date on OSHA’s COVID-19 guidelines?
OSHA’s general guidance for all workers and employers, regardless of specific exposure risks, is in line with CDC advice. But just to recap for you, as of September 21, 2020, OSHA’s recommendations include:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice good respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if sick.
- Recognize personal risk factors. According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), certain people, including older adults and those with underlying conditions such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19.
Recommendations for Construction Worksites
OSHA gets a bit more granular in its recommendations for specific industries. We wanted to share OSHA recommended safe work practices (as of September 21, 2020) as these recommendations apply to many of our partners and customers.
- To the extent possible, screen all visitors on all construction sites in advance of their arrival for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Adopt staggered work schedules; i.e., provide alternating workdays or extra shifts to reduce the total number of employees on a job site at any given time, aiding with physical distancing.
- Identify choke points where workers are forced to stand together, such as hallways, hoists and elevators, ingress and egress points, break areas, and buses and implement policies to maintain social distancing.
- In elevators and personnel hoists, ensure 6 feet of distance between passengers in all directions and equip operators with the appropriate respiratory protection and other necessary PPE.
- Coordinate site deliveries in line with the employer’s minimal contact and cleaning protocols. Delivery personnel should remain in their vehicles, if at all possible.
- Institute a rigorous housekeeping program to reduce dust levels on the job site.
- Keep in-person meetings (including toolbox talks and safety meetings) as short as possible, limit the number of workers in attendance, and use social distancing practices.
- Ensure clean toilet and hand washing facilities are available. Clean and disinfect portable toilets, refill hand sanitizer dispensers, and disinfect frequently touched items (e.g., door pulls and toilet seats) regularly.