All manufacturing facilities developing plans for reopening or continuing operations in the COVID-19 setting should work directly with state and local public health officials and occupational safety and health professionals to create a plan to prevent the spread of germs. This plan should incorporate CDC and OSHA guidance, as well as appropriate guidance from other authoritative sources or regulatory bodies. The following steps should also factor into the plan:
Ongoing Training & Evaluation
- Train employees and employee representatives on the specifics of the plan.
- Make contact information for the local health department readily available.
- Regularly evaluate the workplace for plan compliance and document and correct any deficiencies.
- Provide information on COVID-19, how to prevent it from spreading, and which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting the virus.
- Communicate the importance of frequent handwashing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizers with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol when employees cannot get to a sink or handwashing station, per CDC guidelines).
- Instruct employees on the proper use of face coverings.
Prevention of Spread
- Employers should provide and ensure workers (including temporary or contract workers) use all required PPE, including face coverings and gloves where necessary. Employers should consider where disposable glove use may be helpful to supplement frequent handwashing or the use of hand sanitizer; examples are for workers who are screening others for symptoms or handling commonly touched items.
- Face coverings are strongly recommended when employees are not required to wear respirators for other hazards and are in the vicinity of others. Workers should have face coverings available and wear them when at work, in offices, or vehicles for work-related travel with others. Face coverings must not be shared.
- Non-employees entering the facility should be restricted to only those classified as essential by management, and they must complete a temperature and/or symptom screening before entering. Contractors, vendors, and all others entering the facility are strongly recommended to wear face coverings.
- Avoid sharing handheld mobile communications equipment, office supplies, and other work tools wherever possible.
- Provide time for workers to implement cleaning practices during their shift. Cleaning assignments should be assigned during working hours as part of the employee’s job duties.
- When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should use product approved for use against COVID-19 on the EPA-approved list and follow product instructions. Use disinfectant labels labeled to be effective against emerging viral pathogens, diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons per gallon of water), or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol that are appropriate for the surface. Workers using cleaners or disinfectants should wear gloves as required by the product instructions.
- Employees must be provided and use PPE when offloading and storing delivered goods. Employees should inspect deliveries and perform disinfection measures prior to storing goods in warehouses and facilities, when deliveries appear tampered with.
- Adjust in-person meetings, including interviews, to maintain physical distancing guidelines.
- Consider offering workers who request modified duties options that minimize their contact with others.
- Require that hard hats and face shields be sanitized at the end of each shift. Clean the inside of the face shield, then the outside, then wash hands.
Employee Screenings and Response to Positive Test
- Provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for every worker entering the establishment. Both screeners and employees should wear face coverings for the screening.
- Investigate any COVID-19 illness and determine if any work-related factors could have contributed to risk of infection. Update the plan as needed to prevent further cases.
- Identify close contacts (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) of an infected employee and take steps to isolate COVID-19 positive employee(s) and close contacts.
- Encourage workers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.
Job Site Changes
- Consider installing portable, high-efficiency air cleaners, upgrading the building’s air filters to the highest efficiency possible, and making other modifications to increase the quantity of outside air and ventilation in work and break areas.
- Implement measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between workers. This can include use of physical partitions or visual cues (e.g., floor markings, or signs to indicate to where workers should stand).
- Utilize work practices, when feasible, to limit the number of workers on site at one time. This may include scheduling (e.g., staggering shift start/end times) or rotating access to a designated area during a shift. Stage facilities to stagger work and limit overlap of work crews.
- Stagger employee breaks, within compliance with wage and hour regulations, to maintain physical distancing protocols. Reassign lockers or limit/stagger locker use to increase distance between employees.
- Place additional limitations on the number of workers in enclosed areas to ensure at least 6' of separation to limit transmission of the virus.
Looking for more information? Check out our room-specific guidelines below.