U.S. Department of Labor issues alert to help keep manufacturing workers safe during coronavirus pandemic
On April 16, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect manufacturing workers from exposure to coronavirus.
Safety measures employers can implement to protect employees working in manufacturing include:
- Practicing sensible social distancing and maintaining 6 feet between co-workers, where possible;
- Establishing flexible work hours, (e.g., staggered shifts), if feasible;
- Training workers on how to properly put on, use/wear, take-off and maintain protective clothing and equipment;
- Allowing workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent spread of the virus;
- Monitoring public health communications about coronavirus recommendations for the workplace and ensuring that workers have access to and understand that information;
- Promoting personal hygiene. If workers do not have access to soap and water for handwashing, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol. Provide disinfectants and disposable towels workers can use to clean work surfaces; and
- Encouraging workers to report any safety and health concerns.
OSHA has also published “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” a document aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic. OSHA also posts updates to its COVID-19 webpage. For further information about the coronavirus, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, U.S. employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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