RECOVERY: Daily Operations and RESTART during COVID-19 Pandemic
Types of Work
1.2 Types of Work The workplace risk levels below are from the Occupational Risk Pyramid described in the OSHA publication, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, OSHA publication 3990), www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf.See the source for more information.
Based on Position or Area Exposure
The following information is meant to assist with identifying work area risks as measured from Low to Very High, which can later be applied to specific workplace controls. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/hazardrecognition.html
Classifying Worker Exposure to COVID-19
Worker risk of occupational exposure to the COVID-19 virus, during an outbreak may vary from very high to high, medium, or lower risk (caution). The level of risk depends in part on the industry type, need for contact within 6 feet of people known to be, or suspected of being, infected with COVID-19, or requirement for repeated or extended contact with persons known to be, or suspected of being, affected with COVID-19. To help employers determine appropriate precautions, OSHA has divided job tasks into four risk exposure levels: very high, high, medium, and lower risk.
The Occupational Risk Pyramid shows the four exposure risk levels in the shape of a pyramid to represent probable distribution of risk. Most American workers will likely fall in the lower exposure risk
The preferred method for returning to work is to determine if Engineering Controls can be effectively installed, followed by Administrative Controls which include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).A risk assessment for each Employer’s facility can be done by either conducting a site inspection or, at a minimum, a phone consultation. After each procedure or specific employee duty has been placed in a risk class, they can then be matched to one of the three workplace controls with the identified risk following the guidelines listed below.
CONTROLS IDENTIFIED FOR EACH JOB RISK:
1. Jobs Classified at Lower Exposure Risk (Caution) For workers who do not have frequent contact with the general public.
a) Engineering Controls - Additional engineering controls are not recommended for workers in the lower exposure risk group. Employers should ensure that engineering controls, if any, used to protect workers from other job hazards continue to function as intended.
b) Administrative Controls - Monitor public health communications about COVID-19 recommendations and ensure that workers have access to that information. Frequently check the CDC COVID-19 website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. Collaborate with workers to designate effective means of communicating crucial COVID-19 information.
c) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Additional PPE, with the exception of face cloth masks as outlined in the table above, is not mandated for workers in the lower exposure risk group. However, employees may choose to continue to wear face cloth masks beyond Phase 1 and 2. In addition, use other control measures if approved by management. Workers should continue to use the PPE, if any, that would ordinarily apply for different job tasks. All employees should be reminded to wash their hands regularly and after each potential exposure to an infected person or surface. PPE and COVID-19 cleaning supplies should be stored in a controlled area, released with proper oversight and reviewed weekly to avoid stock outs
2. Jobs Classified at Medium Exposure Risk - In workplaces where workers have medium exposure risk.
a) Engineering Controls - Install physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards, where feasible. Ensure that each work area has adequate ventilation.
b) Administrative Controls - See CDC guidance for optimizing respiratory supplies which discusses the use of surgical masks, at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirators-strategy.
i. Inform visitors about symptoms of COVID-19 and identify policy. Instruct all visitors to inform you if they begin to have symptoms within the next 14 days.Record all visitors in a log so that they can be contacted if an outbreak should happen. Report all cases and verified exposures to your local health agency.Where appropriate, limit visitors’ and the public’s access to the worksite or restrict access to only certain workplace areas.
ii. Consider strategies to minimize face-to-face contact (e.g., drive-through windows, phone-based communication, telework).Communicate the availability of medical screening or other worker health resources (e.g., on-site nurse; telemedicine services).
c) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - When selecting PPE, consider factors such as function, fit, decontamination ability, disposal, and cost. If a PPE has to be used repeatedly or for an extended period, a more expensive and durable type of PPE may be more cost efficient than a disposable PPE. Each employer should select the type/combination of PPE that protects workers specific to their workplace.Workers with medium exposure risk may need to wear some combination of gloves, a gown, a face mask, and a face shield or goggles. PPE ensembles for workers in the medium exposure risk category will vary by work task, the results of the employer's hazard assessment, and the types of exposures workers have on the job.In rare situations that would require workers in this risk category to use respirators, refer to recent OSHA guidelines. For the most up-to-date information, visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage: www.osha.gov/covid-19 for different job tasks. All employees should be reminded to wash their hands regularly and after each potential exposure to an infected person or surface.PPE and COVID-19 cleaning supplies should be stored in a controlled area, released with proper oversight and reviewed weekly to avoid stock outs. ttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html
3. Jobs Classified at High or Very High Exposure Risk - (Note - Applies to a Minimum of Manufacturing, Fulfillment and Distribution Operations) - In workplaces where workers have high or very high exposure risk. High exposure risk jobs are those with high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19. Very high exposure risk jobs are those with high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19 during specific medical, postmortem, or laboratory procedures that involve aerosol generation or specimen collection/handling. NOTE: High and very high exposure risk is generally related to health care professions. Most American workers will likely fall in the lower exposure risk (caution) or medium exposure risk levels.
a) Engineering Controls - Ensure appropriate air-handling systems are installed and maintained in healthcare facilities.See “Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities” for more recommendations on air handling systems at: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5210a1.htm. CDC recommends that patients with known or suspected COVID-19 (i.e., a person under investigation) should be placed in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR), if available.Use isolation rooms when available for performing aerosol-generating procedures on patients with known or suspected COVID-19. For postmortem activities, use autopsy suites or other similar isolation facilities when implementing aerosol-generating procedures on the bodies of people who are known to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19 at the time of their death. See the CDC postmortem guidance at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-postmortemspecimens. OSHA also guides postmortem activities on its COVID-19 webpage: www.osha.gov/covid-19. Use special precautions associated with Biosafety Level 3 when handling specimens from known or suspected COVID-19 patients. For more information about biosafety levels, consult the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” at www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5.
b) Administrative Controls - Follow existing guidelines and facility standards of practice for identifying and isolating infected individuals and for protecting workers. Develop and implement policies that reduce exposure, such as cohorting (i.e., grouping) COVID-19 patients when single rooms are not available. Post signs requesting patients and family members to immediately report symptoms of respiratory illness on arrival at the healthcare facility and use disposable face masks. Consider offering enhanced medical monitoring of workers during COVID-19 outbreaks. Provide all workers with job-specific education and training on preventing transmission of COVID-19, including initial and routine/refresher training. Ensure that psychological and behavioral support is available to address employee stress.
c) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Most workers at high or very high exposure risk likely need to wear gloves, a gown, a face shield or goggles, and either a face mask or a respirator, depending on their job tasks and exposure risks. Those who work closely with (either in contact with or within 6 feet of) patients known to be, or suspected of being, infected with COVID-19, the virus that causes COVID-19, should wear respirators. For the most up-to-date information, also visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage: www.osha.gov/covid-19. PPE ensembles may vary, especially for workers in laboratories or morgue/mortuary facilities which may need additional protection against blood, body fluids, chemicals, and other materials to which they may be exposed. Additional PPE may include medical/surgical gowns, fluid-resistant coveralls, aprons, or other disposable or reusable protective clothing. Gowns should be large enough tocover the areas requiring protection. OSHA may also provide updated guidance for PPE use on its website: www.osha.gov/covid-19. NOTE: Workers who dispose of PPE and other infectious waste must also be trained and equipped with appropriate PPE. PPE and COVID-19 cleaning supplies should be stored in a controlled area, released with proper oversight and reviewed weekly to avoid stock outs
d) Safety Work Practices - Provide emergency responders and other essential personnel who may be exposed while working away from fixed facilities with alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol for decontamination in the field.
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Vermont is restarting and there's a lot to know and do.
Manufacturers take the safety of employees, their families and their communities very seriously.
In addition to the guidance from CDC, OSHA, Vermont Department of Health and VOSHA, the REOPENING PLAN has been created with input from the policies and practices of many local, national and global manufacturers who are currently operational. And who have generously shared their experiences, resources and time. You can even find editable postings and templates so you dont have to find or make them yourself.
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