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OSHA Issues a List of Tips for Construction Industry Employers to Reduce the Risk of Coronavirus Exposure

On April 21, 2020, OSHA issued a list of tips for Construction industry employers to follow so that they can reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus on the jobsite. That list can be viewed here. Many items on the list are familiar at this stage of the pandemic, including allowing employees to wear masks during work, continuing to use normal control measures including PPE, avoiding physical contact and practicing social distancing where possible, and cleaning shared tools and equipment.

The full list of OSHA tips includes:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.
  • Continue to use other normal control measures, including personal protective equipment (PPE), necessary to protect workers from other job hazards associated with construction activities.
  • Advise workers to avoid physical contact with others and direct employees/contractors/visitors to increase personal space to at least six feet, where possible.  Where work trailers are used, all workers should maintain social distancing while inside the trailers.
  • Train workers how to properly put on, use/wear, and take off protective clothing and equipment.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Promote personal hygiene. If workers do not have immediate access to soap and water for handwashing, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus.
  • To the extent tools or equipment must be shared, provide and instruct workers to use alcohol based wipes to clean tools before and after use.  When cleaning tools and equipment, workers should consult manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions.
  • Keep in-person meetings (including toolbox talks and safety meetings) as short as possible, limit the number of workers in attendance, and use social distancing practices.
  • Clean and disinfect portable jobsite toilets regularly. Hand sanitizer dispensers should be filled regularly. Frequently-touched items (i.e., door pulls and toilet seats) should be disinfected.
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

Additional OSHA information and guidance concerning the coronavirus can be found at its website: www.osha.gov/coronavirus.

Stay safe and healthy out there.

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