OSHA Addresses Reopening of Nonessential Businesses
OSHA published guidance in June targeted to reopening businesses that were deemed “nonessential” and shut down earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance supplements the agency’s previous guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 and guidelines from the White House and CDC. The new guidance states that all phases of employers’ reopening plans should include strategies for social distancing, identifying and isolating sick employees, workplace controls, employee training, and hand hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection. OSHA encourages employers to continue considering ways to use remote work and alternative operations to conduct business. Workers’ exposure risks to SARS-CoV-2 will depend on changing outbreak conditions in each community, OSHA says. The agency recommends that employers develop policies and procedures that address preventing, monitoring, and responding to emergences or resurgences of COVID-19 in workplaces or in communities.  “Employers should continue these practices to the extent possible to help prevent COVID-19 from emerging or resurging in their workplace,” the guidance states. “Such a resurgence could lead to increases in infected and sick employees, the increased need for contact tracing of individuals who visited a workplace, enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices, or even a temporary closure of the business.” A PDF of the document is available on OSHA's website.