OSHA Releases New Guidance on Returning to Work

On June 18th, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new guidance to assist employers as they reopen non-essential businesses.  The guidance provides suggestions for working with their employees who are returning to work during the evolving coronavirus pandemic.

The new resource, titled “Guidance on Returning to Work,” supplements the DOL and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ previously developed “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” and the White House’s “Guidelines for Opening up America Again.” In the new document, OSHA provides general principles for updating restrictions originally put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

During each phase of the reopening process, the DOL recommends that employers should continue to focus on:

  • strategies for basic hygiene;
  • social distancing;
  • identification and isolation of sick employees;
  • workplace controls and flexibilities; and
  • employee training.

As non-essential businesses continue to reopen, employers must also follow public health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal, state, or local government requirements or guidelines. Following the latest guidance will help businesses remain in compliance with OSHA’s General Duty Clause, which requires workers to be provided a safe and healthful workplace, free of possible harm or injury.

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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