Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
IN THIS ISSUE: Exposure Control Plan for COVID-19
OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Rule 1910.130 requires that employers have a written plan on how to prevent and control worker exposures to HIV, hepatitis, and other viruses and bacteria that can enter the blood system. Although there is no standard at this time, OSHA recommends employers to develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan on how to deal with COVID-19 in the workplace.
This plan states employers:
- Assign responsibilities to employees, supervision, and management.
- Have a designated health officer who has the authority to stop or modify activities to ensure work conforms with mandatory health and safety requirements.
- Make a hazard determination of employee risk.
- High risk including emergency response and medical personnel.
- Medium risk including jobs that require frequent and/or close contact with people who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2. Examples include critical retail operations such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
- Low risk including jobs that do not require contact with people known to be or suspected of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, nor frequent close contact with the general public.
- Institute controls
- Eliminate hazards by working remotely and conducting meetings using the internet
- Develop engineering controls such as physical barriers between workstations, spread out workstations at least 6 feet apart, and revamping ventilation systems for greater air exchange rates.
- Use administrative controls including training, social distancing, hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, temperature testing, and staggered work shifts.
- Personal Protective Equipment. Include gloves, face/eye protection, protective clothing, and respiratory protection. Identify PPE for each job and provide procedures for disposal, cleaning, and re-use.
- Medical Monitoring. Establish procedures for reporting illness and return to work. Designate medical facilities for COVID-19 testing.
The following documents and templates will be useful in completing an Exposure Control Plan. Examples include: OSHA Safety Topics for COVID-19, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and Michigan OSHA. In addition, there are many safety organizations and private consulting companies that can be helpful in developing procedures to deal with COVID-19 in the workplace.
Be safe, be healthy, be six feet apart!
OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.
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