Coronavirus: Best Practices for your business, restaurant, delivery service, etc.

Coronavirus: Best Practices for your business, restaurant, delivery service, etc.

If you are a business owner looking for guidance to project your employees, your customers yourself and your business itself from this of coronavirus (both the health risk and the business liabilities) the resources on this page and those linked to below will be helpful.

OSHA's Guidance Interim General Guidance for All Workers and Employers

For all workers, OSHA's says good practice is to:

  • Wear cloth face coverings, at a minimum, at all times when around coworkers or the general public. If a respirator, such as an N95 respirator or better, is needed for conducting work activities, then that respirator should be used, and the worker should use their cloth face covering when they are not using the respirator (such as during breaks or while commuting).
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are not immediately available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as active ingredients and rub hands together until they are dry. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes or coughing/sneezing into your elbow/upper sleeve.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with people who are visibly sick and practice physical distancing with coworkers and the public.
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Recognize personal risk factors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), certain people, including older adults and those with underlying conditions such as heart or lung disease, chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis, liver disease, diabetes, immune deficiencies, or obesity, are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19.

OSHA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provide joint guidance for all employers on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 (Spanish).

OSHA COVID-19 hazard identification

Identify where and how workers might be exposed to individuals with COVID-19 at work

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace. Conduct a thorough hazard assessment of the workplace to identify potential workplace hazards related to COVID-19. Use appropriate combinations of control measures from the hierarchy of controls to limit the spread of COVID-19, including engineering controls, workplace administrative policies, and PPE to protect workers from the identified hazards (see table below):

  • Conduct a thorough hazard assessment to determine if workplace hazards are present, or are likely to be present, and determine what type of controls or PPE are needed for specific job duties.
  • When engineering and administrative controls cannot be implemented or are not fully protective, employers are required by OSHA standards to:
    • Determine what PPE is needed for their workers' specific job duties,
    • Select and provide appropriate PPE to the workers at no cost, and
    • Train their workers on its correct use.
  • Ensure all employees wear masks in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidance as well as any state or local requirements. This applies if the hazard assessment has determined that they do not require PPE, such as a respirator or medical facemask for protection.
    • CDC recommends wearing a mask, that covers the nose and mouth and fits snugly against the sides of the face, as a measure to contain the wearer's respiratory droplets and help protect their co-workers and members of the general public. Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • Masks are meant to help prevent workers who do not know they have the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading it to others; however, masks might provide some protection to wearers.
    • Masks do not provide the same level of protection as a medical facemask or respirator and should not replace PPE required or recommended at the workplace.
  • Remind employees and customers that CDC recommends wearing masks in public settings and when around people who do not live in their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Wearing a mask, however, is not a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart.
  • See the OSHA COVID-19 webpage for more information on how to protect workers from potential SARS-CoV-2 exposures and guidance for employers, including steps to take for jobs according to exposure risk.

Separate sick employees

  • Employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors, and sent home.
  • Have a procedure in place for the safe transport of an employee who becomes sick while at work. The employee may need to be transported home or to a healthcare provider.

Take action if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19

In most cases, you do not need to shut down your facility. If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee has been in the facility, close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person:

  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • During this waiting period, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in these areas.

If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection are not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.

Follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations:

  • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them.
  • To disinfect surfaces, use products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
  • Always wear gloves and gowns appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting
  • Ensure there is adequate ventilation when using cleaning and disinfection products to prevent from inhaling toxic vapors.
  • You may need to wear additional PPE depending on the setting and disinfectant product you are using. For each product you use, consult and follow the manufacturer's instructions for use.

Determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and may need to take additional precautions:

Educate employees about steps they can take to protect themselves at work and at home

  • Encourage employees to follow any new policies or procedures related to illness, cleaning and disinfecting, and work meetings and travel.
  • Advise employees to:
    • Stay home if they are sick, except to get medical care, and to learn what to do if they are sick.
    • Inform their supervisor if they have a sick household member at home with COVID-19 and to learn what to do if someone in their home is sick.
    • Wear a mask when out in public and when around people who do not live in their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Inform employees that if their hands are visibly dirty, they should use soap and water instead of hand sanitizer. Key times for employees to clean their hands include:
      • Before and after work shifts
      • Before and after work breaks
      • After blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After using the restroom
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
    • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of their elbow. Throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Learn more about coughing and sneezing etiquette on the CDC website.
    • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA's criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
    • Avoid using other employees' phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. Clean and disinfect them before and after use.
    • Practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (at least 6 feet) from others when possible.
  • PPE: Screeners need to be trained on how to properly put on, take off and dispose of all PPE. Upon arrival, the screener should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and put on a facemask or respirator, eye protection (goggles or disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face), and a single pair of disposable gloves. Extended use of a facemask or respirator and eye protection may be implemented. A gown could be considered if extensive contact with an employee is anticipated.
    • Make a visual inspection of the employee for signs of illness, which could include flushed cheeks, sweating inappropriately for ambient temperature, or difficulty performing ordinary tasks.
    • Conduct temperature and symptom screening
      • If performing a temperature check on multiple individuals, the screener should change their gloves and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol between each employee.
      • Contact thermometers need to be cleaned and disinfected after each screened employee according to manufacturer's instructions and facility policies. Non-contact thermometers should be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer's instructions and facility policies.
      • If disposable or non-contact thermometers are used and the screener does not have physical contact with the individual, the screener's gloves do not need to be changed before the next check. Gloves should not be worn continuously for more than for four hours. After removing gloves, screeners should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
      • Any PPE, including gloves, facemask, respirator, eye protection, and gown, should be removed and discarded if soiled or damaged.

For employees who commute to work using public transportation or ride sharing, consider offering the following support

  • If feasible, offer employees incentives to use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others (e.g., biking, walking, driving or riding by car either alone or with household members).
  • Ask employees to follow the CDC guidance on how to protect yourself when using transportation.
  • Allow employees to shift their hours so they can commute during less busy times.
  • Ask employees to clean their hands as soon as possible after their trip.

Administrative

Screening

Management and Communications

  • Monitor state and local public health communications about COVID-19
  • Encourage sick workers to report symptoms, stay home, and follow CDC guidance
  • Develop strategies to:
    • manage worker concerns
    • communicate with workers
  • Remind workers of available support services
  • Communicate to partners, suppliers, other contractors on policies and practices
  • Encourage social distancing and the use of masks (if appropriate) in the workplace
  • Use technology to promote social distancing (e.g., telework and virtual meetings)
  • Cancel group events
  • Close/limit use of shared spaces
  • Ask customers who are ill to stay home
  • Consider policies that encourage flexible sick leave and alternative work schedules.
  • Schedule stocking during off-peak hours
  • Maintain a tobacco-free workplace

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, (e.g., counters, shelving, displays)
  • Provide employees with disposable disinfectant wipes, cleaner, or sprays that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19

Training
Provide employees with training on:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE

  • Conduct workplace hazard assessment
  • Determine what PPE is needed for workers' specific job duties based on hazards and other controls present
  • Select and provide appropriate PPE to the workers at no cost

Resources for more information:

CDC Guidance

Other Federal Agencies


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