The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new guidance to help employers comply with existing OSHA standards that play a role in keeping employees safe from coronavirus.
The documents are based on data from citations issued in industries such as hospitals and healthcare, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, as well as meat/poultry processing plants. Many of these citations were the result of employee complaints, referrals or fatalities.
OSHA says it is providing the guidance to aid compliance with OSHA requirements and help employers protect workers. Since many of the violations are related to respirator standards, PPE use and storage, as well as ventilation, OSHA has issued additional guidance on ventilation in the workplace.
In addition to the published guidance, OSHA is also promoting its on-site consultation program which offers no-cost, confidential assistance for small and medium sized businesses to identify workplace hazards and improve safety and health programs. The consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations.
In Wisconsin, the consultation services are offered through the University of Wisconsin State Laboratory on Hygiene. As of October 2, 2020, on-site consultation services have been suspended due to the COVID-19 surge in the state. Virtual consultation visits, however, are available upon request by calling 800-947-0553 or filling out the online form.
You can find additional resources on the McClone Coronavirus Resource page, including our Return to Work: Health & Safety Checklist to help you remain compliant and build your workplace safety strategy.
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