OSHA Issues Guidance Clarifying Recording Obligations for COVID-19 Cases

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published new guidance requiring employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping standards to determine whether employees have contracted COVID-19 while at work.

In an effort “to provide certainty to employers and workers,” beginning on May 26, 2020, the agency is requiring all employers to record all COVID-19 cases that:

  • Are confirmed by at least one positive test (as defined by the CDC as a respiratory specimen that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19);
  • Are work-related; and
  • Cause employees to seek medical treatment beyond first aid, result in lost work days or restricted duty or cause loss of consciousness or death.

In an earlier guidance, published on April 10, 2020, the agency recognized the difficulty of determining whether a COVID-19 case was “work-related” due to potential employee infections at home, in the community, or elsewhere. Deciding that employers needed to devote their attention to protective measures (such as disinfecting worksites and implementing proper safety controls), OSHA limited the requirement to make work-related determinations to employers in healthcare industries, emergency response organizations, and correctional institutions. Under that guidance, most employers were exempt from making work-related determinations unless there was reasonably objective evidence reasonably available to the employer of a work-related case. The April 10 guidance will be rescinded on May 26, 2020 and the May 19, 2020 guidance will take effect.

Accordingly, most employers must determine whether employees contracted COVID-19 at work when completing OSHA 300 Logs listing injuries and illnesses. Such logs have become increasingly relevant in recent years because OSHA uses employers’ self-reported data in the logs to publish each workplace’s injury and illness rates on the agency’s website. In accordance with existing regulations, the only employers that are exempt from maintaining such injury and illness records are those with 10 or fewer employees or certain employers in low-hazard industries.

OSHA has directed compliance officers enforcing the new rule to consider a variety of factors in determining compliance, such as:

(1) The reasonableness of the employer’s investigation into work-relatedness;

OSHA has indicated that a reasonable investigation would include the following:

  • Asking the employee how he/she believes they contracted COVID-19;
  • Discussing, to extent feasible, the employee’s out of work activities; and
  • Reviewing the employee’s work environment to consider other related cases.

(2) The evidence available to the employer;

Determinations of whether a case is work-related should be based on evidence reasonably available to the employer at the time the determination is made, but can be changed later when the employer later learns more information that might impact the work-relatedness determination.

(3) And evidence that a COVID-19 illness was contracted at work.

OSHA’s guidance outlines some evidence that may weigh in favor of or against work-relatedness, including:

  • Whether there are several cases among workers who are work closely together and there is no alternative explanation (likely work-related);
  • Whether an employee contracted COVID-19 shortly after lengthy close exposure to a customer or coworker who has is confirmed positive and there is no alternative explanation (likely work-related);
  • Whether the employee’s job duties have them in frequent, close exposure to the general public in an area with ongoing community transmission and there is no alternative explanation (likely work-related);
  • Whether the employee is the only worker to contract COVID-19 and the employee’s job duties do not include frequent contact with the public, regardless of community transmission (likely not work-related); and
  • Whether the employee, outside of work, has close and frequent contact with family, significant other, friends, (who are not co-workers) who have COVID-19 (likely not work-related).

Because OSHA considers COVID-19 a respiratory illness, it should be coded on the 300 Log as such and if an employee voluntarily requests that their name not be entered into the OSHA 300 Log, the employer must not publish the employee’s name.

Jackson Lewis attorneys and the dedicated COVID-19 Task Force are available to assist employers with workplace health matters and to answer any questions.

 

OSHA Releases New Guidance for Rideshare, Taxi, and Car Service Workers

On May 14, OSHA issued a short guidance document for the car and ride service industry to reduce risk of exposure to coronavirus for its workers.  The guidance is issued to rideshare, taxi, and car service workers, although many such drivers are independent contractors and not covered under OSHA’s jurisdiction.  Even for workers who are in an employment relationship, the guidance is not a binding regulation, although rideshare, car service, and taxi companies should still consider these suggestions as good practices.  (Note that the CDC issued much more comprehensive guidance on April 17, 2020 available here, and many rideshare companies have also published COVID-19 pandemic response plans.)

The OSHA guidance includes some of the usual advice we have heard for months, including masking, disinfecting, and encouraging sick workers to stay home – but it also makes a few novel suggestions to take note of, such as assuring adequate air flow by advising drivers to open windows.  The guidance suggests some practices and requires others.  Items that are phrased as a mandate include:

  • Ensure “routine” cleaning and disinfecting of vehicle door handles and inside surfaces (with a qualifying coronavirus-killing disinfectant);
  • Advise drivers to lower vehicle windows to increase airflow;
  • Provide drivers and riders with alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol;
  • Provide drivers with disposable towels and qualifying coronavirus-killing disinfectant; and
  • Provide drivers and riders with tissues and trash receptacles.

The following additional practices are encouraged or suggested by OSHA:

  • Encourage drivers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Allow drivers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent spread of the virus, and ask customers to do the same.
  • Limit the number of passengers drivers can transport at a single time, and install plexiglass partitions between driver and passenger compartments where possible.
  • Encourage drivers to report any safety and health concerns

Given how widespread drivers for taxi, rideshare, and car service businesses tend to be at any given time throughout the day, accommodating all of these guidelines quickly may be a challenge.  However, in order to demonstrate a commitment to driver safety and potentially limit liability for potential future claims (whether a government citation or a private claim made by an employee or independent contractor), service providers should consider how to integrate some or all of these practices into their business model, if they have not already done so.  Some possible measures to adopt may include:

  • Draft employee communications regarding cleaning, masking and staying home when sick, and circulate through multiple avenues such as emails, texts, phone messaging, and/or signs posted at dispatch stations and/or driver centers.
  • Provide signs for drivers to place in their vehicles to remind both driver and rider of safe practices such as masking and frequent sanitizing/hand-washing – both in hard copy and in digital form (if drivers want to print them at home).
  • Supply packages of coronavirus prevention supplies such as hand sanitizer, paper towels and disinfectant, tissues and trash receptacles, and perhaps even face-coverings (some of our clients in other industries are providing complimentary branded face coverings, to hand out to workers and customers alike – of course this is limited by cost and by the ability to order and procure supplies quickly).
  • Consider when a plexiglass or other type of partition may be appropriate and feasible to install or reimburse for. (Various manufacturers are already working on developing partition solutions to fit a variety of situations.)
  • Examine how dispatch centers and apps can adjust their ride-matching practices to limit cross-contamination and reduce exposure.
  • Assure that there is a robust protocol for reporting safety and health concerns, ideally through multiple methods, and retrain all drivers on those methods.

As states begin to reopen, more and more customers will be hailing rideshares and taxis.  All efforts taken to preserve safety during the pandemic should be amply documented, including communications to drivers, purchase orders for safety supplies, distribution checklists, and documentation of quick investigation and resolution of driver reports of safety and health concerns.  Monitor state and local guidance and regulations and CDC guidelines for further tips.  And if you need assistance with drafting employee communications, policies, investigating concerns, or managing an OSHA inquiry, please contact any member of Jackson Lewis’s COVID-19 or Workplace Safety teams.

OSHA Issues Alert for Retail Pharmacies with Suggestions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace

Guest Authored by Jim Verdi.

On May 14, 2020, OSHA issued an “Industry-Specific Alert” for retail pharmacies that provides suggestions employers should implement to prevent the spread of COVID-19. OSHA’s Alerts do not have the force of formal regulations, so a failure to implement a specific suggestion cannot automatically serve as a basis for a citation.  However, OSHA could use the information in these Alerts to establish that employers know about a hazard in the workplace. Employers that do not implement these specific suggestions could face an OSHA inspection—or citation—for failure to remove a known hazard in the workplace.

Still, the alert generally duplicates recommendations that have previously been suggested by the CDC or already are required under various State Orders.  The Alert provides the following suggestions:

Engineering Controls

  • Install clear plastic barriers between workers and customers at order/pickup counters.
  • Use signage and floor markers to keep waiting customers at least six feet from the counter, other customers, and pharmacy staff.

Administrative Controls

  • Encourage workers who are sick to stay at home.
  • Encourage drive-through or curbside pickup and home delivery, where feasible.
  • Encourage customers to submit prescriptions online or by phone.
  • Allow customers to provide their insurance information verbally or virtually (e.g., through mobile apps or the pharmacy’s website).
  • Specify hours dedicated to vulnerable populations (the elderly, people with underlying health conditions, etc.).
  • Increase the use of self-serve checkout to minimize worker interaction with customers.
  • Limit the number of customers allowed inside the facility at any point.

Enhanced Cleaning

  • Frequently clean and disinfect checkout and customer service counters.
  • Provide a place to wash hands and alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

Face Masks and PPE

  • Allow workers to wear cloth face coverings or surgical masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.
  • Provide gloves and eye and face protection, as necessary, for workers in the pharmacy.

Pharmacists that work in clinical settings or otherwise provide clinical services to patients likely require additional protections, and OSHA explicitly advises clinical pharmacies to consult OSHA’s guidance for healthcare workers.

Retail pharmacies must also consider relevant state orders, which may implement more stringent requirements and criminal penalties for employers that fail to implement them.  As many state orders continue to change (and some expire), OSHA’s Alert provides useful minimal requirements that retail pharmacies should consider in order to protect employees, minimize the risk of Covid-19, and avoid a citation.

OSHA Issues Much-Needed COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Homes and Long-term Care Facilities

Guest Authored by Melanie Paul.

With the nation’s most vulnerable population residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, OSHA on May 14, 2020, finally issued much-needed guidance for this industry. These facilities, deemed “ground zero” by former head of the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Tom Frieden, over two months ago, have been struggling to keep COVID-19 at bay.

Although the mandate of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to ensure employers are providing a safe and healthful work environment for employees, central to the ability to do so requires recognition of the unique challenges presented by these facilities’ patient populations, which are the most vulnerable to the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) disease.  And, according to USA Today, 32 states and the District of Columbia have reported cases of coronavirus in approximately 4000 nursing homes across the nation, though this number is likely higher given the number of states which are not reporting such information.

Against this backdrop, OSHA has issued guidelines suggesting best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at these facilities.  Some measures, which apply to all industries, include:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Ask visitors to inform the facility if they develop a fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of their visit.
  • Screen workers (and residents) regularly for signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Send sick workers home or to seek medical care.
  • Stagger break periods to avoid crowding in breakrooms.
  • Consider alternatives to in-person large group gatherings (e.g., staff meetings, resident activities).
  • Provide handwashing facilities and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol throughout facilities.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect shared equipment and frequently touched surfaces in resident rooms, staff work stations, and common areas.
  • Use hospital-grade cleaning chemicals approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from List N or EPA-approved, hospital grade cleaning chemicals that have label claims against the coronavirus.
  • Ensure workers have and use any personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to perform their jobs safely.
  • Train workers about how to protect themselves and residents during the pandemic.
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

Some additional recommend measures, more tailored to nursing homes and long-term care facilities include:

  • Follow CDC guidance on updating existing resident visitation policies.
  • Maintain at least six feet between workers, residents, and visitors, to the extent possible, including while workers perform their duties and during breaks.
  • Always follow good infection prevention and control practices. Consult OSHA’s COVID-19 guidance for healthcare workers and employers.
  • Continually monitor PPE stocks, burn rate, and supply chains. Develop a process for decontamination and reuse of PPE, such as face shields and goggles, as appropriate. Follow CDC recommendations for optimization of PPE supplies.

OSHA seems to recognize that nursing homes and long-term care facilities may not always be able to maintain 6 feet of separation between workers, residents, and visitors, given the language of “to the extent feasible.” In that regard, as a best practice, employers should be prepared to explain any challenges they face in implementing such a measure such as identifying tasks which make compliance with that measure impossible, should OSHA come knocking. Employers should also document challenges in procuring required PPE and all efforts made to do so when they are unable to procure it.  Still unanswered is whether OSHA will apply this guidance to other types of residential facilities that are neither nursing homes nor long-term care facilities.

OSHA Offers Carryout Guidance for Restaurateurs

With many restaurants limited to offering food and beverage carryout and curbside pickup options because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidelines suggesting best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To prevent exposures with customers, OSHA recommends that food and beverage vendors:

  • Avoid direct hand-offs when possible;
  • Display an external sign with services available, instructions for pickup, and hours of operation; and
  • Reserve parking spaces near the front entrance for curbside pickup only.

To prevent exposures between restaurant personnel, OSHA recommends that restaurants:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are ill;
  • Train workers in hygiene practices and proper controls, such as social distancing;
  • Allow workers to wear masks or face coverings;
  • Provide handwashing stations and alcohol-based hand rubs;
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and equipment with disinfectants listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s List N or have label claims addressing COVID-19; and
  • Encourage workers to report any safety or health concerns.

Jackson Lewis attorneys and the dedicated COVID-19 Task Force are available to assist employers with workplace health matters and to answer any questions.

OSHA and CDC Issue Interim Guidance on COVID-19 for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers

Meat processing and packing facilities around the United States have emerged as hotspots for COVID-19.  While handling and processing meat and poultry does not expose workers to coronavirus, close contact with coworkers and supervisors may contribute to their potential exposures.  A number of facilities have had to temporarily close down operations due to outbreaks of Coronavirus amongst the workforce which has led to several deaths.  Many farms have reluctantly considered slaughtering their animals because of the lack of processing capacity.  This has sounded the alarm of many in the industry that there could be a disruption to the meat supply.

To address these concerns, President Trump signed an Executive Order on April 28, 2020 invoking the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing plants as essential infrastructure that must remain open to avoid disruptions to the nation’s food supply chains.  The Order specifies that the government will determine and provide all necessary materials and services to keep such facilities open consistent with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) and OSHA.

The joint guidance issued by CDC and OSHA on April 26, 2020 provides steps that meatpacking and meat processing workers and employers – including those involved in beef, pork and poultry operations – can take to provide a safe and healthy workplace for workers by reducing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.  While not creating new binding regulations that are enforceable against employers, it does provide helpful guidance for meat and poultry processors to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The interim guidance from OSHA and the CDC includes recommendations on the following:

  • Cleaning of shared meatpacking and processing tools;
  • Screening employees for the coronavirus before they enter work facilities;
  • Managing workers who are showing symptoms of the coronavirus;
  • Implementing appropriate engineering, administrative, and work practice controls;
  • Using appropriate personal protective equipment; and
  • Practicing social distancing at the workplace.

The recommendations also call for designating a qualified workplace coordinator to be responsible for COVID-19 assessment and control planning.  The coordinator should be identified as the contact person for any state/local health officials or OSHA/CDC.  All workers in the facility should know how to contact the identified coordinator with any COVID-19 concerns.  Facility management is encouraged to reach out to state and/or local public health officials and occupational safety and health professionals and establish ongoing communications to make sure they are getting relevant and up-to-date information concerning COVID-19.

Jackson Lewis attorneys and the dedicated COVID-19 Task Force are tracking the rapidly evolving federal, state, and local mandates.  Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions.

 

Navigating Employer Obligations to Provide Employees with Masks, Face Coverings

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to study COVID-19, the agency is regularly updating guidance on precautionary measures to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the United States. The agency has expanded its recommended precautions to include “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain” in response to new information showing that COVID-19 can spread from asymptomatic people in close proximity interactions (e.g., individuals standing directly next to each other and talking). To read full article please click here.

OSHA Outlines Discretion in Issuing Citations During Coronavirus Pandemic based on Employer’s Good Faith Efforts

On April 16, 2020, OSHA issued an Enforcement Memorandum directed to Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees giving them Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer’s Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.  Under the Memo, OSHA acknowledges that some “employers may face difficulties complying with OSHA standards due to the ongoing health emergency” since business closures and other restrictions “may limit the availability of employees, consultants, or contractors who normally provide training, auditing, equipment inspections, testing, and other essential safety and industrial hygiene services.”  OSHA also recognized that employee participation in training or access to medical testing facilities could likewise be limited due to business closures and other restrictions related to COVID-19.  The Memo noted for example that several groups have suspended occupational spirometry and audiometric evaluations to minimize the risk of exposure to Coronavirus.

Based on this new reality, OSHA Area Offices and Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) are instructed during inspections to consider an employer’s good faith efforts to comply with safety standards which require annual or recurring audits, reviews, training, or assessments.  In assessing an employer’s good faith efforts, the Memo advises that CSHO’s should examine whether the employer thoroughly explored all compliance options such as using virtual training or remote communications where possible.  This includes considering other interim alternative protections implemented or provided to protect employees, such as engineering or administrative controls, and whether the employer took steps to reschedule the required annual activity as soon as possible.

In cases where compliance is not possible, CSHOs must also look to see if the employer ensured that employees were not exposed to hazards from tasks, processes, or equipment for which they were not prepared or trained.  Likewise, if an employer cannot comply with OSHA-mandated training, audit, assessment, inspection, or testing requirements due to the closure of workplaces by local authorities, employers should still demonstrate a good faith attempt to meet the applicable requirements as soon as possible following the re-opening of the workplace.

To the extent an employer can show that it made good faith effort to comply, Area Offices have the discretion to take such efforts into “strong consideration” in determining whether to issue a citation.  In such cases, Area Offices must include sufficient documentation to support the decision (e.g., notes on the efforts the employer made to comply, letters or other documentation showing that providers had closed).  If the employer is unable to demonstrate any efforts to comply, then a citation can be issued as appropriate under existing enforcement policy.

The Memo provides several examples of situations where enforcement discretion should be considered.  This includes annual audiograms that had to be canceled due to on-site visitor restrictions and social distancing protocols.  In that case, OSHA would not cite the employer for failing to conduct annual audiograms provided that the employer: “considered alternative options for compliance, implemented interim alternative protective measures, where possible, and shows a good faith effort to reschedule the mobile facility as soon as possible.”  Similarly, OSHA will not cite an employer for failing to conduct annual refresher respirator training that could not be conducted due to travel restrictions for the consultant again if the employer made good faith efforts to comply and to reschedule the training as soon as the restrictions are lifted.  OSHA also provided examples related to annual Process Safety Management requirements, hazardous waste operations training, maritime crane testing and certification, construction crane operator certification and medical evaluations.

OSHA also stated that it will develop a program to conduct monitoring inspections from a randomized sampling of cases where violations were noted but not cited under this policy to ensure that corrective actions are taken by the employer once normal activities resume.  CSHOs have been directed to code such cases for future review and OSHA stated that additional guidance on monitoring will be provided at a later date.

The Memo is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.  OSHA noted that this guidance is due to the unique public health crisis related to COVID-19 and is time-limited.  If you have any questions regarding OSHA enforcement activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackson Lewis attorneys and the dedicated COVID-19 Task Force are available to assist.

States Providing Guidance and Considering New Rules to Protect Agriculture Workers from COVID-19

As harvesting seasons approach, some state safety agencies have considered whether additional safety measures are needed to protect agricultural workers from potential exposures to coronavirus (“COVID-19”). In California, the state Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health (“Cal OSHA”) released specific guidance on April 7, 2020 for agricultural employers. While noting that communicable diseases, such as COVID-19, are a recognized workplace hazard within the state, Cal OSHA advises California agricultural employers to ensure their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (“IIPPs”) address potential exposures to COVID-19. Cal OSHA’s guidance goes on to make specific recommendations for agricultural employer’s IIPPs, which include:

  • Providing training to employees on how to recognize COVID-19 symptoms, methods of preventing transmission, and good hygiene practices.
  • Implementing procedures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at worksites, such as methods for identifying and sending employees home that are sick, ensuring proper sanitation, and routine cleaning and disinfecting of hard surfaces.
  • Incorporating methods of physical distancing into all work practices, such as staggering work shifts, constructing additional shade structures to allow for employees to stand at least 6 ft. apart, and setting up quarantines for workers who live on site but who are exhibiting symptoms of illness.

State agricultural agencies in Minnesota and Connecticut have also published resources for agricultural employers on preparing for sick workers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreaks. But, for the most part, guidance from these states corresponds with general recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) on preparing for COVID-19 exposures and do not contemplate new or additional safety measures.

In contrast, Oregon OSHA, is currently considering whether to initiate rulemaking on farmworker housing and field sanitation considering COVID-19 concerns. Oregon OSHA, in fact, requested public comments on a petition that requests Oregon OSHA issue rules requiring agricultural employers to provide toilets, clean transportation, COVID-19 training, and decongested living spaces. Comments on the petition closed on April 13, 2020 and Oregon OSHA is expected to decide on rulemaking needs relatively soon.

Employers should carefully assess how states are viewing worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic because state specific guidance and requirements may have a significant impact on the policies and procedures that employers need to address safety issues related to COVID-19 under state safety laws. Jackson Lewis attorneys and the dedicated COVID-19 Task Force are available to assist employers with workplace health matters or to answer any questions.

 

OSHA Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19 Matters

On April 13, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced an Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports. While OSHA has issued several enforcement memorandums on COVID-19 related issues in recent weeks, this guidance is specifically directed to OSHA’s Area Offices on conducting investigations and inspections involving potential exposures “to the workplace hazard of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), which is the virus causing the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

In issuing the Interim Enforcement Response Plan, OSHA states that “heightened attention” will be given to COVID-19 risks, but leaves OSHA with flexibility and discretion to determine a fact-based enforcement approach. The Interim Enforcement Response Plan also indicates that OSHA should fully investigate complaints, referrals, and employer-reported fatalities and hospitalizations to ensure employees are sufficiently protected from risks of exposure to COVID-19. However, because non-healthcare and non-emergency response establishments, are likely to have a lower risk of exposure, the Interim Enforcement Response Plan directs  OSHA to process complaints for these types of organizations on a more informal basis. Further, the Interim Enforcement Response Plan instructs OSHA to use Rapid Response Investigations (“RRI”) to the extent possible to evaluate potential COVID-19 hazards.

The Interim Enforcement Response Plan goes on to state that OSHA Area Directors should take special precautions for COVID-19 related inspections. Where possible, OSHA should use electronic means of communication as well as avoid actions that would interfere with medical services. Inspectors are also instructed to work closely with their supervisors, regional office, the Office of Occupational Medicine and Nursing, and relevant public health authorities when the inspection involves a potentially high-risk exposure to COVID-19. Moreover, because the agency is considering COVID-19 inspections to be novel cases, the agency will be coding and tracking COVID-19 matters moving forward.

While OSHA’s Interim Enforcement Response Plan makes clear that most work environments have a low risk of exposure to COVID-19, it also emphasizes that the agency views infection control practices and social distancing measures as a type of general duty obligation to protect employees from potential COVID-19 exposure. OSHA may therefore pursue enforcement against employers who it believes have inadequate infection control procedures or social distancing measures under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s General Duty Clause. OSHA’s Interim Enforcement Response Plan also provides for OSHA inspectors to pay close attention to employer compliance with OSHA standards on injury and illness recordkeeping, bloodborne pathogens, sanitation, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection when conducting COVID-19 related investigations or inspections.

If you have questions regarding how best to address respiratory protection in the current work environment, please reach out to Jackson Lewis’ Coronavirus Task Force at jlcovid-19support@jacksonlewis.com.

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