OSHA Publishes FAQs on Keeping Workers Safe from the Spread of COVID-19
On Jul. 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a page of FAQs regarding the spread of COVID-19 and how to best keep workers safe from infection. OSHA developed these FAQs from inquiries from the public. The questions cover 13 different topics, including Personal Protective Equipment and Return to Work.
The FAQs are meant to provide guidance to both employers and employees. As companies continue to return to the office and employees begin moving freely in the world again, understanding how to mitigate the risk of infection is an essential step to returning to work.
Prior to publishing these FAQs, OSHA had also published two other resources for employers, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, and Guidance on Returning to Work. This is just the department’s latest effort to ensure the safety of the U.S. workforce as offices seek to reopen.
Key Information for Businesses & Employees
The FAQs released by OSHA have important information for companies as they reopen their offices and for employees as they return to the office. From employee rights to PPE and employer obligations to provide a safe work environment, the FAQs are extensive.
Some of the notable information they cover includes:
- The key differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators.
- Employers are NOT required to provide cloth face coverings at work as they are not considered PPE. However, employees are recommended to wear cloth face coverings at work in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- Unless they are covered employers under OSHA, employers are not required to provide PPE at the workplace, and they can prohibit employees from wearing their own PPE from home.
- OSHA requires employers to make restrooms and handwashing stations available to employees.
There are other important topics covered on the FAQ page, with much more information that is necessary for employers and employees to know upon returning to work. Parts of the FAQs provide industry-specific information for the healthcare and construction industries as well.
- “U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to Help Keep Workers Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” U.S. Department of Labor, 2 July 2020.
- ASA Staffing Today, Jul. 2, 2020.
We Can Help You Succeed
J. Kent Staffing can help you with your staffing needs or your job search. Reach out to us today to start the process.