USA: Swift progress on COVID safety at work
After just eight full days into his administration, US president Joe Biden has added new COVID-19 guidance to last week’s executive order on protection of workers from the infection (Risks 982). The US Department of Labor announced on 29 January that its workplace safety regulator, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus prevention programme and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and infection.
“More than 400,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and millions of people are out of work as a result of this crisis. Employers and workers can help our nation fight and overcome this deadly pandemic by committing themselves to making their workplaces as safe as possible,” said senior counsellor to the secretary of labour M Patricia Smith. “The recommendations in OSHA’s updated guidance will help us defeat the virus, strengthen our economy and bring an end to the staggering human and economic toll that the coronavirus has taken on our nation.”
Acting head of OSHA Jim Frederick said: “OSHA is updating its guidance to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus and improve worker protections so businesses can operate safely and employees can stay safe and working.” The guidance covers issues including ensuring infected or potentially infected people are not in the workplace, the use of personal protective equipment and improving ventilation, good hygiene and routine cleaning.
Read more: Department of Labor news release. Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.
Source: Risks 983