As the vaccine roll-out got underway, emergency temporary COVID-19 workplace standards (ETS) were issued on November 30, 2020 by Cal/OSHA. Under the ETS, employers must adopt and implement a comprehensive COVID-19 Prevention Program that includes a number of recognised risk mitigation strategies for keeping business operational and workers safe during the pandemic.
In this article we will take a look at the basic elements of a COVID-19 Prevention Program, and how RightCrowd solutions can help.
WHY HAVE A COVID-19 PREVENTION PROGRAM
OSHA law establishes that employers have an obligation to provide a safe work environment for their employees, contractors, vendors and visitors. Employers further have responsibilities to identify and correct workplace hazards that will result in worker injuries and illnesses.
In the context of COVID-19 it means business leaders need to understand the risks of people contracting the virus in their workplace and taking reasonable steps to prevent the spread.
BASIC ELEMENTS OF THE COVID-19 PREVENTION PROGRAM
The central feature of the Cal/OSHA ETS is the requirement that all employers implement a written COVID-19 prevention plan and it must include the following:
- Communication to employees about the employer’s COVID-19 prevention procedures
- Screening of employees for COVID-19
- Identification, evaluation, and correction of COVID-19 hazards
- Physical distancing of at least six feet
- Use of face coverings
- Use of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment as required to reduce transmission risk
- Procedures to investigate and respond to COVID-19 cases in the workplace
- COVID-19 training to employees;
- Testing of employees who are exposed to a COVID-19 case
- Exclusion of COVID-19 cases and exposed employees from the workplace until they are no longer an infection risk; and
- Maintenance of records of COVID-19 cases and
- Reporting of serious illnesses and multiple cases to Cal-OSHA and local health departments.
CLOSER LOOK: WORKER COVID-19 EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION
The ETS contains strict requirements for the notification of workers and contractors exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers must determine which employees may have had a COVID-19 exposure by evaluating the activities of the COVID-19 case. Within one business day, the employer must notify all employees who may have had COVID-19 exposure (and any authorized representatives, such as their union), as well as any independent contractors or other employers present at the workplace during the high-risk exposure period.
RightCrowd Contact Tracing delivers rapid and accurate COVID-19 exposure reporting for all employees, contractors, vendors and visitors enabled with the RightCrowd Social Distancing Monitoring solution across the workplace.
Close contact information is recorded and stored on the RightCrowd Badgeholder, which is automatically transferred to the backend software as soon as the person comes in range of a RightCrowd Gateway. Through an easy-to-use dashboard, RightCrowd quickly delivers up-to-date COVID-19 exposure reporting to help employers meet their mandatory notification obligations quickly.
CLOSER LOOK: ENFORCING SOCIAL DISTANCING
The United States CDC recommends that limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people at work. To practice social or physical distancing, workers need to stay at least 6 feet (2 metres) from other people in both indoor and outdoor spaces, and in crowded spaces or work groups.
RightCrowd Social Distancing Monitoring solutions create a personal separation and contact tracing device that notifies the wearer when they are too close to a colleague. The solution monitors appropriate levels of social distancing across every worker, vendor and vistor, allowing organizations to pinpoint problematic interactions, so they can take additional measures when needed.
Worn by workers, the digital badge holder flashes red when two people come within a distance of approximately 6 feet. The interactions between the wearables are also stored and can be utilized for contact tracing. The system is easily deployed in the cloud or on-premise and can be configured by the customer to meet the most demanding privacy regulations.
An effective COVID-19 Prevention Program identifies and corrects of COVID-19 risks in the workplace and more information can be found at osha.gov/coronavirus.
For more information ion RightCrowd solutions please contact us.