COVID-19 Employer Update on Respirators
March 20, 2020
There is still much to learn about the transmissibility, severity and other features associated with COVID-19. And, throughout the process, we all have a responsibility as individuals and employers to prevent it from spreading.
We currently know that infected people can spread COVID-19 through respiratory secretions, especially when coughing or sneezing.
As such, it is paramount to implement and encourage the following practices:
- Continue to implement workplace controls
- Keep your distance from one another
- Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Continue practicing proper hygiene
- Perform routine surface cleaning
- Identify, promptly remove and isolate sick people
- Properly clean and disinfect after removal
- Screen employees and visitors at worksites daily (see attached for an example template)
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
To support and assist employers, we’ve attached a recent publication from OSHA, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (PDF).
This publication contains education and recommendations for employers and is meant to be a reference guide, therefore it is not a standard or regulation.
This is a brief overview of some of the content provided:
- About COVID-19
- How a COVID-19 Outbreak Could Affect Workplaces
- Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan
- Steps all Employers Can Take to Reduce Worker Exposure
- An Overview of Low, Medium, High, and Very High Exposure Risk
- What to do to Protect Workers
Respiratory Protection for Workers
For employers who currently use or intend to use respirators, L&I recently published a temporary enforcement guidance document (PDF) related to use during the Covid-19 pandemic dated March 17th.
It is specifically geared toward employees in the healthcare industry and provides interim relief from current standards that require fit testing.
From the Approach team to all of our clients and customers, we wish you and yours health and safety during this challenging time.