What OSHA standards apply to reopening facilities?

As the country continues to work on opening back up after the COVID-19 shutdown, many business owners want to know what they need to do to keep their employees and customers safe. OSHA has released some standards that will help to ensure the reopening of facilities is handled in a safe and effective way.

It is important to note that these standards provide advice and guidance on how things should be done, but do not represent any type of new law or regulation. Employers are encouraged to follow these practices as a starting point. They should also check with the state and local requirements that are in place where they are physically located to ensure they remain in compliance.

Know the Job Classification

One of the most important things that OSHA has done is create several job classifications based on risk associated with COVID-19. Knowing your COVID-19 job classification will help you to determine what standards you need to follow. The risk levels are low exposure risk, medium exposure risk, and high or very high exposure risk. Within each of these categories OSHA has protective measures that they recommend to keep employees safe.

The risk categories are based on a number of factors including the number of COVID-19 cases in the geographic area around the facility, how closely people work together in a facility, whether the work is done in an enclosed area or not, and more. Based on the risk level, employers will be encouraged to implement some level of protective standards including:

  • Social Distancing
  • Face Coverings
  • Cleaning & Sanitization
  • Other Personal Protection Equipment
  • Air Handling & Filtering
  • Employee Monitoring for Illness
  • Enhanced Sick Policies

These are some of the most significant measures put in place to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Knowing what standards apply to you when reopening your business will help to ensure it is done right and everyone is kept as safe as possible.


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