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OSHA COVID-19 Guidance for the Manufacturing Industry Workforce

June 8, 2020

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to provide guidance to assist employees and employers with maintaining safe and healthy working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.  This guidance will be particularly useful as states continue to re-open.  We have collected below a list of existing documents, both general and industry-specific, for your use.

COVID-19 Guidance for the Manufacturing Industry Workforce
OSHA is committed to protecting the health and safety of America’s workers and workplaces during these unprecedented times. The agency will be issuing a series of industry-specific alerts designed to keep workers safe.

If you are in the manufacturing industry, the following tips can help reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus:

    • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
    • Establish flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), if feasible.
    • Practice sensible social distancing and maintain six feet between co-workers, where possible.
    • For work activities where social distancing is a challenge, consider limiting the duration of these activities and/or implementing innovative approaches, such as temporarily moving or repositioning workstations to create more distance or installing barriers (e.g., plexiglass shields) between workstations.
    • Monitor public health communications about COVID-19 recommendations for the workplace and ensure that workers have access to and understand that information.
    • Train workers on how to properly put on, use/wear, take-off, and maintain protective clothing and equipment.
    • Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent the spread of the virus.
    • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
    • Discourage workers from using other workers’ tools and equipment.
    • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus.
    • Promote personal hygiene. If workers do not have access to soap and water for handwashing, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
    • Provide disinfectants and disposable towels workers can use to clean work surfaces.
    • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov/coronavirus or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

General Guidance for All Workers and Employers

 Both OSHA and CDC regularly update their webpages with reopening guidance relevant to the business community.  We encourage you to regularly check for update guidance at:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

OSHA has also released general guidance for preparing workplaces for COVID-19:

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

For all workers, regardless of specific exposure risks, it is always a good practice to:

    • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Practice good respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home if sick.
    • Recognize personal risk factors. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), certain people, including older adults and those with underlying conditions such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19.

Industry-Specific Guidance Documents

In addition to the general guidance above, OSHA frequently issues specific guidance tailored to specific industries.  To date, OSHA has released specific guidance for the following industries:

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide any additional information or assistance.

Sincerely,

Sylvester A. Giustino
Deputy Director  Office of Public Liaison
U.S. Department of Labor
Phone:  202-693-6451
Mobile: 202-527-1179

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