The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so.
This guidance is intended for planning purposes. Employers and workers should use this planning guidance to help identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement. Additional guidance may be needed as COVID-19 outbreak conditions change, including as new information about the virus, its transmission, and impacts, becomes available.
To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to be prepared. For employers who have already planned for influenza pandemics, planning for COVID-19 may involve updating plans to address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., compared to pandemic influenza viruses). Employers who have not prepared for pandemic events should prepare themselves and their workers as far in advance as possible of potentially worsening outbreak conditions. Lack of continuity planning can result in a cascade of failures as employers attempt to address challenges of COVID-19 with insufficient resources and workers who might not be adequately trained for jobs they may have to perform under pandemic conditions.
This booklet covers:
- Information about COVID-19
- How a COVID-19 outbreak could affect workplaces
- Steps all employers can take to reduce workers' risk of exposure
- Classifying worker exposure to SARS-CoV-2
- Jobs classified at lower, medium and higer exposure risks and what to do to protect workers
- Workers living abroad or travelling internationally
- OSHA assistance, services and programs
- OSHA regional offices
- How to contact OSHA
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the latest information about COVID-19 and the global outbreak:
The OSHA COVID-19 webpage offers information specifically for workers and employers:
This guidance is advisory in nature and informational in content. It is not a standard or a regulation, and it neither creates new legal obligations nor alters existing obligations created by OSHA standards or the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).
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