Social Distancing Articles

Cleaning the Workplace During COVID-19

Cleaning the Workplace During COVID-19

Using the 5S method to clean and organize your facility is more important than ever as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact workplace safety.

Job Hazard Analysis: Addressing Coronavirus Risk in Your Workplace

Job Hazard Analysis: Addressing Coronavirus Risk in Your Workplace

A Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is an effective means of identifying and addressing safety hazards. JHAs can be used to address the risks of COVID-19 in your facility.

Returning to Work Safely

Returning to Work Safely

As restrictions are lifted and your employees come back to work, make sure you continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by implementing these health and safety best practices.

Floor Marking for Social Distancing

Floor Marking for Social Distancing

Using floor marking materials such as signs, tape, and other visual reminders is a highly effective way to implement social distancing and reduce the spread of illness in your facility.

OSHA's Guidelines to Protecting Employees from Coronavirus

OSHA's Guidelines to Protecting Employees from Coronavirus

Learn which OSHA standards apply to preventing exposure to illness in the workplace, how to determine level of risk, and which controls to implement to protect your workers.

PPE: Personal Protective Equipment [Safety Standards]

PPE: Personal Protective Equipment [Safety Standards]

Get an overview of common PPE requirements for the workplace including breathing protection, eye protection, and more.


Social Distancing Questions and Answers

What industries are affected by Phase Three of the federal guidance for reopening?

In short, all industries are affected by phase three of reopening the country during the global Coronavirus pandemic. Not only does phase three allow for full staffing capability at businesses, it allows for larger group settings, and less restrictions on customers entering somewhere like a retail business. Employers, employees, and visitors must still exercise caution… 

What is recommended in Phase Three of the federal guidance for reopening?

Phase three, the last phase in a series written by the CDC and the presidential administration, outlines guidance on the subject of reopening the country amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Reopening the country does not come without the risk of another wave of Covid-19 infections, which is why these three phases play an integral part in… 

Do employees need to wear face coverings or PPE to protect themselves during COVID-19?

As businesses begin to open back up amid the Coronavirus pandemic many people are asking if employees need to wear face coverings or PPE, like respirators and gloves, at work. The decision to do so greatly depends on the type of work that is being performed and the rate at which that workplace is exposed… 

Do workplaces need an exposure control plan specific to COVID-19?

As the country begins to reopen after a long hiatus of stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic, employers of companies that are allowing employees and customers back to brick and mortar businesses must be ready with infection prevention measures. On top of OSHA and the CDC’s recommendation in adopting an Exposure Control… 

What are employer responsibilities during the recovery period?

As the country moves forward with reopening various businesses and easing restrictions on gatherings of all types, it is important to remember that the COVID-19 virus is still a very real threat. Employers have a very real responsibility to minimize the risks that their employees are exposed to when they return to the workplace. The specific… 

How should workplaces implement exposure controls?

Whether your business has been open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, or you are just starting to open back up, it is critical that you implement proper exposure controls. Employers are always responsible for workplace safety, and that extends to keeping employees safe from the spread of this (or any) virus. Fortunately, there are many things… 

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… 

What do workplaces need to know about the Opening Up America Again Plan?

The Opening Up America Again plan is a three-step plan to help businesses open back up again while still minimizing the risks associated with COVID-19. It was developed using the advice of public health experts and is designed to help state and local officials decide how they can help get people back to work. The… 

How can equipment be sanitized and disinfected?

Community and workplace facilities are areas subject to a higher level of person to person contact during operating hours. The first step in knowing how to properly sanitize and disinfect equipment is to identify the places that need it. These can include areas like breakrooms, desks, bathrooms, etc. Determining what to sanitize and disinfect regularly… 

Do employers have a duty to prevent worker exposure to COVID-19 infection?

Employers have a duty to protect their employees as best they can under the general duty clause when it comes to hazard protection. Covid-19 is no exception when it comes to hazardous working conditions. For this reason, OSHA has recently published a document on respiratory protection guidance during times when the number of N95 respirators… 

Can social distancing be practiced in casinos?

As many industries are given the green light to reopen, social distancing and other public health practices must be implemented to ensure a safe environment during the pandemic. When employees return to work and customers venture out again, things will look a little different than they did before the spread of the novel coronavirus—and casinos… 

What workplace safety concerns need to be addressed as employees return to work?

As many areas in the United States begin to ease their stay-at-home restrictions, employees are returning to work—but it’s still very important to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. As they are being asked to come back, employees have a few safety concerns in mind, namely what measures will be put in place to keep… 

What is recommended in Phase Two of the Federal Guidance for Reopening?

Together, the Trump Administration and the CDC have established reopening guidelines for industries and businesses in America as the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic recedes. Many states are qualified to enter Phase Two under this reopening guidance, which means that more businesses can resume services and people can once again travel for nonessential reasons.… 

What industries are affected by Phase Two of the Federal Guidance for Reopening?

As states continue to reopen in America, some have qualified to move beyond Phase One and are ready to enter Phase Two of the reopening guidance that has been established by the federal government. In partnership with the CDC, the Trump Administration recommends that states and regions may move into Phase Two if there is… 

How can workplaces clean the facility before opening?

Whether you have sent employees to work from home or temporarily closed your business in order to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, there are some steps you need to take before reopening your workplace. One of the most important aspects to welcoming workers back is ensuring that your space is properly cleaned… 

What social distancing measures will stay after lockdown is lifted?

As society begins to open up after the COVID-19 related lockdowns businesses need to make sure they are still taking the necessary steps to keep everyone safe. One of the most important things that can be done is continue with reasonable social distancing measures for the foreseeable future. Social distancing will help to minimize the… 

What guidance has been published for employers during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The COVID-19 outbreak has been an event like nothing most people alive today have ever experienced. It quickly became necessary for employers to learn how to keep their employees and customers safe from the spread of this virus. While many companies had to shut down to help get the pandemic under control, most businesses are… 

How can I protect workers interacting with customers?

Finding ways to keep employees safe in the workplace is always a challenge. With the threat of the COVID-19 virus, this is more difficult than ever. Implementing the recommended social distancing policies will help to minimize the risk of employees passing the virus to each other, but what about when they need to interact with… 

What can I tell my employees about reducing the spread of COVID-19 at work?

Whether your business has been open throughout the pandemic, or it is just starting to open back up, it is important to keep your employees informed about what is going on. Knowing what to tell employees to help them to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at work is critical. By working together, everyone in the… 

Aside from cleaning, what can workplaces do to slow the spread of COVID-19?

There are many things that an employer can do to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For many businesses, this meant closing down entirely for a time so that the country could be ready for what comes next. As businesses are starting to return to work, it is still important to take precautions… 

What spatial changes can be made in the workplace for social distancing?

When setting up the workplace for social distancing there are many things to keep in mind. Taking the time to figure out the best way to move things around will help you to make sure everyone is safe while minimizing the impact that it has on your day to day work. Of course, the specific… 

Can social distancing be practiced in gyms?

Social distancing is a concept that was thrust into the consciousness of just about everyone in the world. While just about everyone understands what it means, it is not always easy to implement it successfully. There are certain places that just aren’t made for social distancing. Gymnasiums, for example. While they may be large open… 

What is a pandemic safety officer?

Running a business while trying to keep everyone safe from the COVID-19 virus can be difficult. One thing that a growing number of companies are doing is hiring or naming someone to be the pandemic safety officer. This is someone who will help to implement any necessary changes to ensure everyone is as safe as… 

Can social distancing be enforced?

As businesses are opening back up and trying to move forward while managing the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many challenges that need to be overcome. One difficulty for many businesses is trying to get everyone to properly practice social distancing. In many cases, it is hard to enforce the six feet… 

Why is social distancing still important?

As the restrictions imposed on businesses and people throughout the country are lifted, it can be tempting to try to return things back to normal. While the risk of COVID-19 has gone down thanks to the actions taken by everyone, the virus is still there. Taking reasonable precautions will help to ensure that the virus… 

Will social distancing continue after the lockdown?

Many areas in the United States and around the world are experiencing the lift of lockdowns, which were ordered to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. While people are relieved as they return to work, leave their houses, and travel locally again, it’s important to keep in mind that the danger is not over yet.… 

How can assembly lines practice social distancing?

According to what is known about the transmission of COVID-19, limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of the virus. As businesses begin returning to operations, it’s important for businesses to understand how they can practice social distancing. Assembly lines are one area in manufacturing facilities where it can be… 

What is recommended in Phase One of the federal guidance for reopening?

In the Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, criteria are posed that states should meet—a downward trajectory of documented cases being one of them—before proceeding to Phase One.  For states and regions that satisfy that gating criteria for Phase One, the White House has outlined guidance for employers: Encourage telework whenever feasible. Return to work… 

What industries are affected by Phase One of the Federal guidance for reopening?

Under the Guidelines for Opening America Again, states and regions who meet a specific criterion: Symptoms: Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses reported within a 14-day period and downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period. Cases: Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period or downward trajectory of positive tests as… 

What can grocery stores do to protect customers while social distancing?

Communities across the country are taking steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus by limiting close contact, and supermarkets and grocery stores are quickly increasing safety measures to protect customers running their essential errands. Sneeze guards Installing a plexiglass shield at checkout lines protects both the cashier and customer from possible virus-containing droplets that are… 

Where can I use floor marking for social distancing?

For workplaces still operating, stores still open to the public, and facilities seeing patients during the coronavirus pandemic, taking social distancing measures is crucial in reducing the rate of disease transmission. Floor marking is a simple way you can do your part in “flattening the curve” by encouraging visitors, and customers, workplaces to practice social distancing.… 

How can I ask customers to practice social distancing in the checkout line?

Social distancing has been shown to be an effective means of reducing the transmission of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to make sure you stay six feet away from other people while you’re in public, including while you’re at the store purchasing essential products such as medication… 

What administrative controls can I use to reduce transmission of illnesses?

To reduce the transmission of respiratory illnesses in your workplace, it’s important to conduct a hazard assessment and follow the hierarchy of controls, a framework that helps to determine options for controlling workplace hazards. In this case, the hazard is an illness such as COVID-19, which is easily spread from person to person. OSHA has… 

How can grocery stores encourage social distancing without disrupting the flow of traffic?

The use of social distancing tools in essential businesses like grocery stores is necessary to keep employees and customers safe from becoming infected by the Covid-19 virus. Getting people in and out of the store as quick as possible is also needed in times like these where limitations on the number of people in stores… 

What floor marking shapes can I use for social distancing?

Many places like grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, etc. are implementing social distancing tools such as floor signs to help remind customers to stay six feet away from others at all times. These can be anything from X’s, dots, footprints, arrows, etc. as long as the visual tools are noticeable to customers and employees. By placing… 

What are the best visual tools to promote social distancing?

Visual tools are one of the best strategies to use for promoting social distancing by reminding others to practice the infection preventative technique. These tools have been showing up in a variety of essential businesses that are still in operation since large amounts of people still gather there for essentials like food, prescriptions, etc. Social… 

How can I use safety signs to encourage social distancing?

Essential businesses throughout the country are still serving their communities and helping millions of customers receive the medicine, food, and supplies they need. As retailers keep their doors open, it’s important to implement public safety measures such as social distancing to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, protecting both customers and workers. For these… 

How can restaurants practice social distancing and stay open?

As people were instructed to stay home as much as possible and refrain from gathering in groups in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants and bars were one of the first places to take a hit in terms of their business. Restaurants that were once packed are now empty—but they may still be open… 

How does floor marking promote social distancing?

The CDC has asked everyone to practice social distancing, a public health measure that aims to reduce the transmission of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. There are two main aspects to social distancing: to stay home as much as you possibly can, and when you must go out in public to get food or go… 

How can I notify my customers we are still open?

While many businesses have been forced to temporarily close due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are others that are still open and struggling to maintain a steady flow of customers as they move to curbside pickup only, or restrict the number of people allowed inside and enforce social distancing measures. As you keep your doors… 

Where should social distancing signs be placed in stores?

Although many businesses have closed or sent their employees to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, some stores such as grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and banks have stayed open to continue providing their essential services. In these workplaces, it’s highly important to practice social distancing and make sure that both customers and employees are… 

How can healthcare facilities effectively communicate to patients?

The CDC’s key goals for the U.S. healthcare system during the novel coronavirus are to reduce morbidity and mortality, minimize disease transmission, protect healthcare personnel, and preserve healthcare system functioning. As medical facilities face an influx of new patients, they must also find ways to effectively communicate safety and health information. A strong visual communication strategy… 

Why is floor marking an effective option for social distancing?

Social distancing is a major key in slowing the spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC. Major events around the globe are being postponed, museums are shutting their doors to the public, governors have ordered school out of session in the effort to “flatten the curve.” As employees are still clocking into work and people are… 

What tools can be used to practice social distancing?

Public health experts agree the best way to preventatively tackle the coronavirus is through community isolation, social distancing, and quarantining. The CDC recommends limiting face-to-face contact, avoiding public spaces, and staying home. For essential businesses and facilities with employees still coming into work, you will need to ensure everyone understands social distancing. Barriers: Arguably the… 

How can I encourage employees to practice good hand hygiene?

Respiratory viruses, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), can easily be spread via our hands. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself and help slow the spread of coronavirus is by regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. Hand washing is actually much more powerful against… 

How far apart should social distancing floor markings be placed?

Community and individual isolation, or social distancing, is the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19, public health experts report. Following recommendations from the CDC, floor markings should be used at least six feet, or two meters, apart. According to the World Health Organization, the small liquid droplets (which may contain the virus), that… 

How can safe distances be maintained in an office?

Maintaining a safe distance in an office is essential during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep you and your co-workers safe. The Coronavirus spreads rapidly from person to person via respiratory droplets after someone coughs or sneezes. For that reason, it is necessary to practice proper social distancing techniques in the cube farm and break rooms… 

How can essential retail stores and public premises practice social distancing?

Essential retail stores and public premises must practice proper social distancing techniques to protect their employees and citizens from catching the Coronavirus at all times. Making sure employees at essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare centers, banks, manufacturing plants, etc. are aware of the rules pertaining to social distancing is vitally important since they… 

How long will social distancing last?

Social distancing measures have been implemented across all 50 states and a multitude of other countries that are currently affected by the rise in Covid-19 cases. This tactic is incredibly important to reduce the amount of cases that develop across the globe since there is no known vaccine available for use yet. To give some… 

What is the scale of social distancing?

The scale of social distancing is becoming more than just a localized effort by communities that have been affected already. Social distancing has become an effort known around the world to attempt to stop the Coronavirus in its tracks. This strategy is needed now more than ever because there is no known vaccine that can… 

What does "flattening the curve" mean?

A simple chart and the advice to help “flatten the curve” have become critical to our efforts grappling with the new coronavirus. Countries like Italy have faced a rapid growth rate resulting in hospitals reaching capacity, emergency rooms closing their doors, and a shortage of basic emergency medical equipment. Slowing the rate of infection is… 

What are the CDC recommendations for workplaces and COVID-19?

As the world enters another week of fighting the coronavirus, businesses and employers can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by adequately preparing the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first recommends businesses coordinate with state and local health officials to ensure timely and accurate information is being followed. In March the CDC… 

What are social distancing requirements?

With the COVID-19 pandemic quickly spreading across the nation and throughout the world, there have been many recommendations and requirements issued to help ‘slow the spread’ and reduce everyone’s risk. Social distancing was one of the first recommendations issued by the CDC, and continues to be the first and most important thing that anyone can… 

What is the social distancing strategy?

Over the past several weeks virtually everyone in the country and around the world has heard the term social distancing. Social distancing is a strategy for reducing the risk of catching or spreading the COVID-19 virus, which is now a global pandemic. The strategies issued by the CDC, OSHA, and many medical professionals related to… 

What are social distancing guidelines?

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the CDC and medical professionals are strongly recommending people engage in social distancing. In many places, certain aspects of social distancing are even required by law until this pandemic is over. Understanding what the guidelines for social distancing are is critical for employers and employees so they can follow the… 

What are some basic protective measures against the new coronavirus?

As experts continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) it is becoming clear that one of the best things people can do to help protect themselves, and others, is take basic protective measures. The fact that COVID-19 can be asymptomatic for up to two weeks means that most people have no way to… 

How can transmission of COVID-19 between employees be reduced?

Millions of businesses throughout the country and around the world have been closed to help reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Millions of others, however, are considered essential and have to stay open during this time. Business owners and managers in companies that are still open need to be extraordinarily cautious during this… 

When should employees or visitors be excluded from the workplace?

During the COVID-19 pandemic businesses that have been deemed essential are permitted to stay open and serve customers. While operating, however, they need to take strict precautions to help minimize the risk of the virus being transmitted. Part of this is knowing when employees and visitors should be excluded from the workplace. While there is… 

How can employers best protect employees from exposure in the workplace?

Businesses that remain open during this time need to take precautions in order to protect employees from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. The ideal way to do this is to have all employees work from home. Of course, this is not possible in most situations. For employees who must come into the office to perform… 

What policies can employers implement to enforce social distancing?

The CDC, OSHA, and other federal governmental agencies have been hesitant to issue any strict laws or regulations regarding exactly how people should practice social distancing. They have, however, issued many recommendations and guidelines for social distancing and other practices that can be taken to limit the spread of COVID-19. As a business owner or… 

How can social distancing be practiced for small businesses?

Small businesses have always been the cornerstone of the country, and that is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many businesses are closed during this time, those that are open are especially important. All small business owners and managers need to take extra precautions to protect their employees, customers, and the community in general.… 

Do business events need to be canceled?

The various laws, regulations, guidelines, and recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic are changing and updating each day. Business owners and managers need to be proactive in monitoring the situation so that they can make the best decisions for their business, employees, and the community as a whole. As of now, there aren’t any federal… 

Are employers required to develop a written infectious disease preparedness and response plan?

There are many things that businesses need to do to keep their employees safe. As we are learning with the current COVID-19 pandemic, businesses will play a key role in the overall safety and well-being of the country. Whether that means shutting down for the protection of others, or taking dramatic safety steps while in… 

What is the difference between social distancing and physical distancing?

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread within communities, phrases such as “flattening the curve”, “quarantine,” and “social distancing” are becoming part of everyday vocabulary. It can be difficult to distinguish the difference between these terms and understand exactly what applies to you, but perhaps the most difficult to understand is the one between the… 

How can employers support employees to practice social distancing?

With the recent coronavirus pandemic, many business owners have been faced with difficult decisions regarding how to practice social distancing in their workplace. Depending on local regulations, some businesses have been required to reduce or suspend operations, others have sent all of their employees home to work remotely, and others have been deemed essential businesses… 

How can healthy business operations be maintained?

Once a virus is already present and spreading throughout a community, the best way to reduce further transmission is to practice social distancing. However, some businesses provide essential products and services and are required to remain open to support the general public. In this case, how can healthy business operations be maintained? Both OSHA and the… 

How can businesses practice social distancing in waiting rooms or reception areas?

As the coronavirus continues to impact businesses all around the world, there are some businesses that must remain open to provide services to patients and other visitors who must spend time in a waiting room or reception area before being helped. It’s essential for these places to stay open—and essential for them to enforce social… 

What is the main workplace safety guidance employers should follow for COVID-19?

As the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, continues to impact businesses around the world, all employers need to consider how to address the spread of this disease in their workplace and which actions to take to lower its impact. OSHA does provide important guidance that employers should follow for COVID-19 to ensure workplace safety.… 

How can social distancing be done with family?

Social distancing can be difficult for families for a number of different reasons. Stress and anxiety can become more prevalent in all ages of the household due to a sudden change in routine and the restrictions imposed on the community for social distancing. Everyone processes stress differently, especially in high risk settings like disease outbreaks,… 

How can social distancing be done with kids?

Social distancing is not limited to adults in any circumstances during this Covid-19 outbreak. At this time, parents absolutely must help their kids with practicing social distancing as rumors are going around that kids are not at a high risk for contracting the coronavirus or the complications that may come with the disease. This rumor,… 

How can a healthy work environment be maintained?

Healthy work environments are a top priority in essential businesses that have not yet been shut down to the Coronavirus. Essential businesses are defined as the ones that provide basic amenities to citizens. These can be: Grocery stores Health care facilities and pharmacies Select city workers Gas stations Bank tellers Manufacturers What is open and what… 

How does social distancing work?

Everyone learns at a young age to cough or sneeze into their elbow to prevent getting others sick. Signs describing this action are often posted on public transport vehicles like trains and buses as well as other public places that receive high traffic during peak flu season every year. Another strategy that is showing to… 

What are social distancing recommendations?

COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, is an incredibly contagious virus that is making its way around communities globally. Social distancing has been mandated by several countries where they have subsequently shut down large gatherings and public events. Governments have also shut down non-essential businesses, among numerous other safety measures to attempt to keep people… 

Why should social distancing be practiced?

Social distancing is important because restricting the amount and duration of contact between people is an effective means of slowing the transmission of illnesses such as the coronavirus. The less people interact with each other and the less mobile they are, the fewer the opportunities for COVID-19 and other diseases to spread. By limiting your… 

How does social distancing slow down an outbreak?

Social distancing is a public health practice that slows an outbreak by reducing the opportunity for the transmission of disease. Preventing the spread of an illness involves several stages, but once a virus is already present in a community, the priority shifts to the mitigation stage. This phase specifically focuses on reducing the number of… 

How can social distancing be practiced in the workplace?

As the coronavirus continues to impact communities around the world, employers and businesses can do their part to help slow the spread of COVID 19 and keep their workers safe. Employers should plan on adapting flexible business operations and crafting a response to disease transmission in their community, based on the executive orders and recommendations… 

What is the difference between social distancing and self-isolation?

Measures of social distancing and physical isolation are being increased around the world as an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a respiratory illness. While isolating yourself from other people is an important and effective way of keeping yourself and others from catching viruses, what is the difference between the practices of social distancing… 

What is the difference between social distancing and isolation?

In general, physical separation from other people is the most effective means of stopping the transmission of respiratory illnesses. What exactly this separation looks like, however, depends on the status of your health; you may need to either practice social distancing or isolate yourself completely from other people in order to prevent the spread of… 

What is the difference between social distancing vs. quarantine?

In response to the surge of new coronavirus cases in the United States,  the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends practicing social distancing and quarantine—two different public health measures—to slow the spread of COVID-19. What is self-quarantine? Healthcare professionals recommend self-quarantine for people who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at… 

Why is social distancing important?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has encouraged Americans to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve on coronavirus. Social distancing, the deliberate effort to increase the space between people, can include large-scale measures—like the cancellation of major sporting events—or can be practiced individually by choosing… 

Social Distancing Guides