On January 29th, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posted guidance intending to help employers and workers not covered by OSHA's COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to identify COVID-19 exposure risks to workers who are unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk, and to help them take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection. This guidance was updated on June 10th, 2021 to include focusing protections on unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers, encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations, and adding links to guidance with the most up-to-date content. Below are several of OSHA’s multi-layered interventions to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19:

  1. 1. Grant paid time off for employees to get vaccinated.
  2. 2. Instruct any workers who are infected, unvaccinated workers who have had close contact with someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and all workers with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home from work.
  3. 3. Implement physical distancing for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers in all communal work areas.
  4. 4. Provide unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers with face coverings or surgical masks, unless their work task requires a respirator or other PPE. 
  5. 5. Educate and train workers on your COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in language they understand. 
  6. 6. Suggest that unvaccinated customers, visitors, or guests wear face coverings.
  7. 7. Maintain Ventilation Systems. 
  8. 8. Perform routine cleaning and disinfection.
  9. 9. Record and report COVID-19 infections and deaths.
  10. 10. Implement protections from retaliation and set up an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards.
  11. 11. Follow other applicable mandatory OSHA standards.

Read more about who at-risk workers are, what workers need to know about COVID-19 protections in the workplace, and the roles of employers and workers in responding to COVID-19 by reading OSHA’s COVID-19 guidance here. Additionally, learn more about the updates to this guidance by reading this article here.

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