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Category: Safety Products & Services
Volume: 41
Issue: 2
Article No.: 5800

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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: OSHA Issues Interim Guidance to Help Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
OSHA has issued an alert to provide general practices and interim guidance to help prevent worker exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The novel coronavirus (officially called COVID-19) is believed to spread from person-to-person, primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus is also believed to spread by people touching a surface or object and then touching one’s mouth, nose, or possibly the eyes.

Employers and workers should follow these general practices to help prevent exposure to coronavirus:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and running water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Employers of workers with potential occupational exposures to coronavirus should follow these practices:

  • Assess the hazards to which workers may be exposed.
  • Evaluate the risk of exposure.
  • Select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure, including physical barriers to control the spread of the virus; social distancing; and appropriate personal protective equipment, hygiene, and cleaning supplies.

For the latest information on the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of coronavirus, visit the https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For interim guidance and other resources on protecting workers from coronavirus, search and download OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and visit OSHA’s https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/.

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.

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