COVID Employer Requirements: 7 Things Small Business Need to Know
During this hectic and stressful time, COVID-19 safety & health guidelines seem to change overnight. As a small business, here are a few things you need to know within the state of Pennsylvania.
Establish Exposure Determination
Evaluate routine and anticipated tasks to determine anticipated employee exposure to COVID and categorize jobs into the following risk categories: Lower, medium, high, and very high exposure risk. To do this, you can use the OSHA tool Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan
- Develop & implement a written COVID-19 Preparedness & Response Plan
- Use current OSHA guidance for COVID-19 – Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- CDC COVID-19 Guidance – Resuming Business Toolkit
The preparedness & response plan shall include the employee exposure determination & shall detail measures to prevent employee exposure, including any:
- Engineering Controls
- Administrative Controls
- Basic Infection Prevention Measures
- Person Protective Equipment
- Health Surveillance
The employer shall make the preparedness & response plan readily available to employees & their representatives (website, internal network, or hardcopy). A copy of the COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses poster must also be visible on-site.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
Promote frequent & thorough handwashing, by providing workers, customers, & worksite visitors a place to wash hands or provide antiseptic hand sanitizer or alcohol-based hand towelettes containing 60% alcohol when soap & water are unavailable.
Increase facility cleaning & disinfection to limit exposure to SARS-CoV-2; focus on high touch surfaces (e.g. door handles) and parts, products, and shared equipment (e.g tools, machinery, and vehicles). Use EPA approved disinfectants expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2: which can be found on List N, and follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning & disinfection products (e.g. concentration, application method, contact time, and PPE).
Direct employers to promptly report any signs & symptoms of COVID-19 their experiencing to the employer before OR during the work shift. Employers will also physically isolate any employees known or suspected to have COVID-19 from the remainder of the workforce, using a measure such as, but not limited to:
- Not allowing known/suspected cases to report to work
- Sending know/suspected cases away from the workplace
- Assigning known/suspected cases to work alone at a remote location (e.g. their home), as their health allows
Allow employees with a known/suspected case of COVID-19 to return to the workplace only after:
- The individual is no longer infectious according to the latest guidelines from the CDC
- The individual is released from any quarantine or isolation order by the local public health department
Designate one or more worksite COVID -19 safety coordinator. The coordinator must implement, monitor, & report on the COVID -19 control strategies required for the worksite and always remain on -site when employees are present.
Keep everyone on the worksite at least 6ft from one another and reduce congestion and follow all current occupancy restrictions.
- Use ground markings, signs, and physical barriers as appropriate to ensure social distancing and reduce congestions.
- Provide non-medical grade face coverings to employees
- Require face coverings when employees cannot consistently maintain 6ft of separation from others.
- Consider face shields (in addition to face coverings) when employees are unable to consistently maintain 3ft of separation from others
- Require face coverings in shared spaces, including during in-person meetings and in restrooms and hallways
Personal Protective Equipment
Provide employees with types of PPE, including respirators as necessary, for protection from SARS-CoV-2 appropriate to the exposure risk associated with the job. Ensure PPE is:
- Properly worn
- Used consistently
- Regularly inspected, maintained, and/or replaced (as necessary)
- Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of to avoid contamination to self, others, or the work environment
Training to employees on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 infection control practices. Training will be updated if: there are changes to its COVID-19 preparedness & response plan OR new information becomes available about the transmission of SARS- CoV-2.
Training shall cover:
- Workplace infection control practices
- Proper use of PPE
- Steps employees must follow to the employer of COVID-19 symptoms or a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19
- How to report unsafe working conditions
For implementation help, policy & plan templates, additional resources or to conduct an on-site walk through contact our Healthy Workplace Business Consultant, Marla Breitbarth at email@example.com or call (412)-396-1633