As COVID-19 continues to be a threat, OSHA is doing its due diligence to help protect workers. OSHA recently released its most frequently cited COVID-19 standards violations. As of the end of last year, OSHA has cited 300 worksites and proposed nearly $4M in penalties for coronavirus-related violations since the beginning of the pandemic. To raise awareness of these violations within your company, please use our Toolbox Talk to conduct a safety meeting.
While OSHA has not issued specific COVID-19 standards, employers are required to comply with existing standards that encompass pandemic-related safety risks. OSHA’s Occupational Safety and Health Act’s General Duty Clause, for example, requires employers provide a work environment “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” OSHA has also released guidelines for limiting worker exposures to the coronavirus. The most frequently cited pandemic-related requirements are listed below.
- Provide a medical evaluation before a worker is fit-tested or uses a respirator.
- Perform an appropriate fit test for workers using tight-fitting respirators.
- Assess the workplace to determine if COVID-19 hazards are present or or likely, which would require the use of a respirator and/or other personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Establish, implement, and update a written respiratory protection program with required worksite-specific procedures.
- Provide an appropriate respirator and/or other PPE to each employee when necessary for employee protection. Ensure the respirator and/or PPE is the correct type and size.
- Train workers to safely use respirators and/or other PPE in the workplace, and retrain workers as necessary based on workplace changes.
- Store respirators and other PPE so they are protected from damage, contamination, and deformation of the facepiece and exhalation valve, if applicable.
- Within eight hours of being informed, report to OSHA any fatality that occurs within 30 days of a work-related incident.
- Keep required records of work-related fatalities, injuries, and illness.
RETTEW’s safety professionals are available to assist with creating your pandemic response plan, provide training, or serve as an on-site Pandemic Safety Officer. Please contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 800.738.8395 for more information.
Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.