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COVID-19 Resources for Safety Professionals

COVID-19 Posters for Workplaces (editable + Insert Logo)

Important Resources for Safety Professionals

OSHA has released Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

The guidance addresses the following topics:

  • About COVID-19
  • How a COVID-19 Outbreak Could Affect Workplaces
  • The Steps all Employers Can Take to Reduce Workers’ Risk of Exposure to SARS-CoV-2
  • Classifying Worker Exposure to SARS-CoV-2
  • Jobs Classified at Lower Exposure Risk (Caution): What to Do to Protect Workers
  •  Jobs Classified at Medium Exposure Risk: What to Do to Protect Workers
  • Jobs Classified at High or Very High Exposure Risk: What to Do to Protect Workers
  • Workers Living Abroad or Traveling Internationally, and others

COVID-19 Body Temperature Log

COVID-19 Daily Screening Tool

19 Measures Safety Professionals Can Take to Protect Workers from COVID-19

As Safety Professionals, first and foremost, review your risk register and include COVID-19 as a risk and identify all potential exposure points and persons at low, medium, high or very high exposure risk as per the OSHA guidance . OSHA recommends the adoption of the Hierarchy of Control; 

Elimination

1. Encourage workers to avoid large gatherings, this includes mass toolbox talks and safety meetings.

2. Encourage workers to avoid traveling to places of COVID-19 outbreak 

3. Encourage workers to stop handshakes

4. Encourage workers to avoid touching their faces, mouths and noses

Substitution

5. Encourage your employer to promote teleworking where possible

6. Encourage workers to use videoconferencing for meetings when possible

7. Encourage workers to hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.

Isolation

8. Ensure that workers who have travelled from locations with outbreak self-quarantine themselves at home

Engineering Controls

9. Improve general ventilation at the workplace.

10. If your organization deals with a lot of customers provide physical barriers at customer service points to prevent exposure to sneezes and coughs

Administrative Controls

11. Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan (OSHA Guidance)  e.g Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan

12. Implement robust surface decontamination and hygiene regime at all potential exposure points like door knobs, bathrooms, workstations, etc.

13. Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.

14. Measure, log and monitor worker’s temperature regularly for suspected cases using Thermometer Gun and Temperature Log Sheet. – However this approach is not a guarantee. Monitor workers for physical symptoms. “If someone is sneezing or coughing, you can send them home”

15. Encourage workers to keep a safe distance between each other by re-arranging workstations and maintaining a 2 meter distance from suspected persons.

16. Encourage workers not to touch or use hand tools belonging other workers.

17. Closely monitor international and your official government sources of information to advise your management eg. Travel Advisory, Recent Confirmed Cases, Countries of Recent Outbreak etc.

18. Provide workers adequate information to workers about COVID-19, where to get the latest update, numbers to call for suspected cases, etc. making use of the COVID-19 Posters.

Personal Protective Equipment

19. Remember PPE is the last resort. Use a fit tested respirator and wear gloves to prevent the direct spread or direct exposure from infected persons.

Why respirators won’t protect you 100% from  COVID-19?

Respirators will accumulate biologically agents over short period of time which can cause other respiratory diseases, if worn for a long time.

Respirators are uncomfortable, when worn indiscriminately, users would still try to adjust or remove them which in turn reduces the wear time. Only wear at areas of close proximity with suspected persons.

Respirators must be fit tested on users. Lack of fit testing and One-Size-Fit-All do not guarantee safety. Facial hair and markings hamper their effectiveness.

Not all workers are medically fit to wear respirators. Workers must be medically evaluated to identify those who are fit to wear.

NB: Respirators are only suitable for those infected to prevent the spread or those attending to infected persons to prevent exposure.

“CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators outside of workplace settings (in the community). Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts (within 6 feet)”

“CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes or nose, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue”

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This is just to support. It is by no means a standard or regulation. Please share to support.
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