01 Sep OSHA’s Latest COVID-19 Guidelines for Businesses Nationwide
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a guide called “Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus.” This guide has helpful tips on making the workplace a safer place to be when coming back to work. download the guide at the OSHA link above. Here is a condensed version below for a quick read.
Useful OSHA Tips
- Stay home if you are sick. Even if you have a cold, staying away from fellow workers ensures that anyone with an already-compromised immune system will not catch what you have.
- Maintain essential workplace staff. Office workers can work from home instead of having to come in and share space with everyone else. Almost any office job can be done from home so long as the company’s cloud service is secured and monitored for potential hacks.
- Use plastic gloves to handle phones, tools, and other equipment. If you do not have plastic gloves handy, use a paper towel or Kleenex to pick up a desk phone’s receiver. Use a pen or pencil to punch the number to make a call to another department. Use the employer/OSHA-designated gloves needed to operate tools and machinery.
- Employers must provide appropriate cleaning chemicals. Cleaning chemical containers must show that the chemicals guard against COVID-19 and is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Follow cleaning instructions provided on the labels.
- Encourage workers to report any unsafe work situations. This is about saving lives.
OSHA also publishes a web page called “COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions,” found here. Check this page often to get answers for work-related issues. Click on any index category listed to see a range of applicable questions. Then click one question link to open and read the answer.
One question is whether a worker must maintain social distancing if that worker is wearing a mask. The answer is “yes.” Find out how to correctly clean your cloth masks at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention website here.
While Away from the Workplace
While OSHA only covers workplace safety, you must keep the same safety practices going even as you leave work. Here is a personalized routine you can try out to help protect those at home and elsewhere.
Carry hand sanitizer in your car and clean your hands after getting into the car. If needed, wipe dry with a paper towel. Keep several clean cloth masks in your car, too, and store them in a plastic baggie.
Once you wear a cloth mask, wrap it in a paper towel or insert it in a plastic baggie. Put the dirty cloth mask into the washer at once. Do not put it in the dirty laundry hamper where someone else must handle it to get it into the washer.
If you go to the grocery store, wear a mask, and wear plastic gloves. Once you get back to your car, pull out a paper towel or Kleenex, to pull open the vehicle door handle. Keep a large laundry bin in the car and unload your grocery bags into that bin. Once you get into the vehicle, close your door, and sanitize your gloves with your hands still in them. Then wipe the inside door handle clean.
Once you get home, you can grab the grocery bin and push shut the vehicle door with your hip. Lock it with your key fob and get inside. Once inside, clean your groceries before putting them up. Stash the laundry bin after cleaning both your hands and the bin handles. Then you can remove your gloves.
It may seem like a lot of effort to go through this routine, yet you will have peace of mind knowing that you have done all you could to avoid any contamination. You also keep everyone else around you safer from becoming ill. Your co-workers will be happy seeing you come to work every day instead of being on workers’ compensation benefits for acquiring COVID-19.
If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim or have related issues, call us at once for a consultation. We are here to help. 602-346-9009.