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COVID-19 pandemic: Manufacturing workers focus of new OSHA safety alert

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Washington — A new OSHA safety alert lists measures employers in the manufacturing industry should take to protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The alert calls on employers to encourage workers to stay home when sick, as well as report any safety or health concerns. The agency recommends limiting duration of work activities when physical distancing isn’t feasible. Other suggestions: Move or reposition workstations to create more distance, or consider installing barriers (e.g., plexiglass shields) between workstations.

The alert states employers should “monitor public health communications about COVID-19 recommendations for the workplace and ensure that workers have access to and understand that information.” Workers should be educated on the proper ways to put on, take off, maintain and use/wear protective clothing and equipment.

 

Other tips:

  • Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Discourage workers from using co-workers’ tools and equipment.
  • Use disinfectant products listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as effective against the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19.
  • Promote personal hygiene. If workers don’t have access to soap and water for handwashing, provide hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Provide disinfectants and disposable towels workers can use to clean work surfaces.

The alert is available in English and Spanish.

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