COVID-19 has left no industry or person untouched in its spread around the globe. With the current state of the global pandemic only getting more intense in the United States, all companies and industries must be doing their part to slow the spread of the deadly virus and protect their employees as well as fellow citizens.
Regardless of personal or political beliefs and affiliations, OSHA guidelines should be followed although they are not law. Manufacturing workers and employers are no different from any other industry looking to continue work and production while the pandemic continues.
Preparing your employees and your company to combat and help stop the spread of COVID-19 is a critical piece of public health and personal health. In addition to helping protect the public health of the country, manufacturing companies must protect their employees, otherwise, an outbreak could occur within the facilities that could shut down production.
What are the OSHA Guidelines for Manufacturing Workers and Employers During COVID-19?
The OSHA guidelines are as follows:
- Encourage your employees to stay home if they are sick or show COVID-19 symptoms.
- Encourage your employees to get tested for COVID-19 and stay home if they test positive for the virus, even if they are asymptomatic.
- Create staggered shifts and schedules whenever possible to keep the volume of employees in the building low.
- Maintain social distancing (6-feet) rules in the workplace wherever possible.
- Limit conditions where employees cannot socially distance and increase the number of break areas so that employees do not overcrowd areas like bathrooms, break rooms, and smoking areas.
- Stay up to date on new information about the virus and keep informed on new recommendations about preventing COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Educate employees about how to take precautionary actions to prevent spreading the virus to coworkers, (ex: face coverings, proper handwashing, and sanitizing workspaces frequently.)
- Teach employees about the proper use of personal protection equipment, such as putting it on and removing it safely as well as maintaining the life of their protective gear.
- Encourage the use of face-coverings or masks in the workplace that covers both the nose and mouth at all times.
- Teach proper respiratory etiquette, such as coughing and sneezing into elbows and washing hands frequently.
- Try to keep employees from using other workers’ tools or stations.
- Keep facilities around buildings clean with sanitizing products recommended by the EPA or CDC for combating COVID-19.
- Encourage personal hygiene, such as handwashing with soap and water for over 20 seconds and frequent use of hand sanitizer.
- Provide disinfectant towels or cleaner for use on company property or in company facilities.
- Ask that employees report or remind others about following these guidelines for their health and public health.
Taking care of your employees during this chaotic and stressful time will help your company continue to run smoothly and build trust between your manufacturing employees and the corporate aspect of your company.
Remember, keeping your employees safe keeps you, your company, and the world healthy.