Revised Workplace Rules

The COVID merry-go-round keeps spinning and we’re getting dizzy. Thanks to the increasing number of positive cases we’re getting with the Delta variant, we’re now going retro.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have both updated their recommendations. In the workplace, OSHA carries more weight for us legally. So, spin your calendar backward to remember the safeguards you thought were over:

  • Employees (vaccinated and unvaccinated) should wear masks in the workplace when around others.

  • Social distancing is needed whenever you are around others at work.

  • Unvaccinated workers (and anyone else) with symptoms need to stay home from work and get tested.

  • Vaccinated workers who are exposed to a positive COVID case should get tested 3-5 days after the exposure and continue to wear a mask for 14 days (or until they get a negative test result).

  • Strongly encourage unvaccinated employees to get vaccinated. Offer incentives, if needed.

  • Bring back the frequent cleaning and disinfecting of items that are touched often by employees.

  • Continue to record and report positive, work-related cases.

  • Inform employees of a way they can make suggestions or express concerns about COVID hazards… and don’t retaliate when they do.

Several companies have expressed to us a desire to just ignore the requirement for a COVID safety plan and, instead, let their employees choose what they want to do. However, this is a slippery slope and the reprisals might be harsh if you end up with an outbreak or a death among your employees. As a company, you are legally required to have a COVID safety plan in place that meets state guidelines. While you might not want to become the mask police, you should at least want to provide the guidance legally required to help keep your employees safe.

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