OSHA has recently revised their return to work guidance for employers who are open during our current COVID pandemic. The new 27 page publication can be accessed here:
The previously issued 35 page guidance contains much similar content, but a few newly updated version puts a focus on:
- Conducting a thorough hazard assessment that examines the potential COVID-19 exposures for each job category and outlines protective measures.
- Clarifying that employers may perform daily temperature checks and health assessments of employees, so long as the checks are administered transparently and fairly and anyone performing the checks is protected from possible infection. However, asking employees to self-check at home may be more efficient, especially when paired with sick-leave policies that encourage workers to stay home if they feel ill. Temperature screening “may have limited utility on its own,” OSHA wrote. NOTE Colorado’s mandated RTW policies as well local jurisdiction’s requirements.
- Cloth face masks are recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and cloth masks may count as administrative controls for keeping the workplace safe. However, OSHA reiterated that cloth face masks are not personal protective equipment (PPE) and so are not subject to requirements for training and fit testing. Cloth face masks cannot be used in place of more protective N95 masks, which are required as PPE in certain health care, construction and other settings.
OSHA’s guidance must be used in tandem with the state of Colorado’s requirements: