Continental Chimney Company LLC

Adapted AGC/VT Sample Plan for COVID-19.

Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response

Every construction project is different. What is feasible and appropriate for any one project depends on its size, location and other unique characteristics. To help construction contractors develop a sound approach to each of their projects, AGC is pleased to make this sample plan available. Neither the association nor its individual members intend this document to be a definitive statement of the protocols and procedures that are applicable to each and every project.

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Continental Chimney Compnay, LLC           (hereinafter “Company”) takes the health and safety of our employees very seriously. With the spread of the coronavirus or “COVID-19,” a respiratory disease caused by the COVID-19 virus, the Company must remain vigilant in mitigating the outbreak. The Company is a proud part of the construction industry, which many have deemed “essential” during this Declared National Emergency. In order to be safe and maintain operations, we have developed this COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan to be implemented, to the extent feasible and appropriate, throughout the Company and at all of our jobsites. The Company has also identified to monitor the related guidance that U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) continue to make available.

This Plan is based on information available from the CDC and OSHA at the time of its development, and is subject to change based on further information provided by the CDC, OSHA, and other public officials. The Company may also amend this Plan based on operational needs.

This plan specifically recognizes three distinct sectors within the construction industry.  Those sectors are A. Heavy Civil, B. Commercial/Residential Exterior (outside) construction and C. Commercial/Residential Interior construction.   Examples of such sectors are generally as follows:

  1. Heavy Civil (100% outdoor work) – Excavation, concrete construction, paving, etc.
  2. Commercial /Residential Exterior (Generally taking place outside of a closed space) – Masonry, steel erection, wood framing, siding, exterior painting, underground conduit installation, underground heating/cooling piping installation, material processing, etc.
  3. Commercial/Residential Interior (Generally taking place within a closed space) – Interior Painting, taping, carpeting, flooring, HVAC, electrical, glazing, finish carpentry, insulating, doors and windows, finishes, furnishings, millwork, etc.

 

Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response

KEY POINTS

  • Upper management teams have embraced the importance of COVID-19 and are dedicated to the education and safety of their employees.
  • Continued and constant education are key to the success and safety of this return-to-work outline, to include redundant signage across project sites.
  • Mandatory COVID-19 trainings shall be incorporated into this return-to-work outline for all returning and new employees.
  • Constant personal hygiene, sanitization and the provision of supplies to do so is an extreme focus.
  • Social distancing guidelines and practices are to be strictly enforced, to include 6’ distancing and not working in capacity greater than 10 employees per 1000 SF.
  • Increased provision of and encouragement of additional PPE, including facial coverings when needed and feasible.
  • Strict protocols for those affected by COVID-19 as mandated by the CDC shall be followed.
  • Mandatory Facial Coverings for all operations when in the presence of others or outside contractors or trades, excepting operators unless necessary due to lack of distancing

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Responsibilities of Managers and Supervisors
  2. Responsibilities of Employees

III. Job Site Protective Measures

  1. Job Site Cleaning and Disinfecting
  2. Jobsite Exposure Situations
  3. OSHA Recordkeeping

VII. Confidentiality/Privacy

VIII. General Questions

APP 1 – COVID-19 Checklist for Employers and Employees

APP 2 – COVID-19 Toolbox Talk

APP 3 – COVID-19 Prevention and Work Practice Controls

  1. Responsibilities of Managers and Supervisors

All managers and supervisors shall be trained on this industry specific COVID-19 Prevention, Preparedness and Response plan and must be ready to continually educate employees. It is paramount that managers and supervisors set a good example by following this Plan at all times. This involves practicing good personal hygiene and jobsite safety practices to prevent the continued spread of the virus. General social distancing guidelines should be a continuous focus of the education of its employees, including details such as discouraging hand-shaking and other contact greetings.  Managers and supervisors must encourage this same behavior from all employees. Specifically, the role of project managers and supervisors include:

  • Designating a Site Safety Rep (CSRO) to monitor and implement all recommended safety practices regarding the COVID-19 virus with all contractor staff members to monitor and implement all recommended safety practices regarding the COVID-19 virus with all contractor staff members. Supervisors must have the authority, through consultation with the CSRO, to halt all activities that do not adhere to the COVID-19 safety practices. The CSRO should have training commensurate with this hazard and all required industrial hygiene practices that may be required on the job site. This person will be responsible to maintain supplies of disinfectants and make sure that workers follow decontamination, hand washing, and distancing.
  • Staggering breaks, lunch, and general staffing to maintain proper distancing, both in the trailer and out on site. To include staggering start times with not more then 5 man crews arriving in 15 minute intervals
  • Monitoring the adherence to safety protocols for all individuals on site
  • Mitigating risks and hazards quickly to keep the site in compliance throughout the work day
  • Managing the flow of traffic on and off the site and verify that all who enter can meet the health standards that will be clearly posted at the entrance to the site.
  1. Responsibilities of Employees

The Company is requiring every one of our employees to help with our prevention efforts while at work. In order to allow the continuance of construction projects across our state and to minimize the spread of COVID-19 at our jobsites, it is important that everyone plays their part. As set forth below, the Company has instituted various housekeeping, social distancing, and other best practices at our jobsites. All employees must strictly follow these new rules. In addition, employees are expected to report to their managers or supervisors, preferably via telephone if and when possible, if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as described below. If you have a specific question about this Plan or COVID-19, please do not hesitate to ask your manager or supervisor.

OSHA and the CDC have provided the following control and preventative guidance for all workers, regardless of exposure risk:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Follow appropriate respiratory etiquette, which includes covering for coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

In addition, employees must familiarize themselves with the symptoms of COVID-19, which include the following:

Coughing, lack of taste and smell, fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, early symptoms such as chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or runny nose, lack of taste or smell.

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, DO NOT GO TO WORK and call your supervisor and healthcare provider right away. Likewise, if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms, call your supervisor right away.

 

III. Job Site Protective Measures

The Company has instituted the following protective measures at all jobsites.

  1. General Safety Policies and Rules
  • Any employee/contractor/visitor/supplier showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave the jobsite immediately.
  • All meetings conducted in-person shall be done so outside whenever possible, or in ventilated spaces, ensuring all employees are a minimum of 6 feet apart from one another. Attendance at these meetings will be collected verbally and the foreman/superintendent will sign-in each attendee. Attendance will not be tracked through shared sign-in sheets or mobile devices and no signatures whether virtual or actual will be required.  Site Safety Resource (CSRO) manager will follow CDC Social Distancing Guidelines.

 

  • Employees must avoid physical contact with others and shall direct others (co-workers/contractors/visitors/suppliers) to maintain personal space of at least six (6) feet when feasible. Where work trailers are used, only necessary employees should enter the trailers and all employees should maintain social distancing while inside the trailers. A maximum occupancy ratio of 10 employees per 1000 square feet of work space shall be used at all times in both temporary facilities (job trailers should be limited to 2 people) and office spaces.
  • All project owner/engineer or other meetings shall be conducted via online communications or via telephone.
  • There shall be no traveling of office management to the jobsites unless absolutely necessary. Meetings and/or weekly/monthly inspection shall be conducted using an online virtual meeting platform with the superintendent on-site.
  • There shall be no travel between offices for those stationed at the home office. Use online virtual meeting platforms.
  • Employees will be encouraged to continue the maintenance of the 6 feet rule and maximum gathering guidelines of 10 persons during staggered breaks and/or lunches. Employees will also be encouraged to bring lunches and any other personal needs with them to work, mitigating the need for them to leave the jobsite during the work shift.
  • The Company understands that due to the nature of our work, access to running water and soap for hand washing may be impracticable. In these situations, the Company may provide alternatives, such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers and/or wipes. Where practicable and when available, jobsite may be equipped with temporary wash stations as supplied by local vendors or they may purchase and deploy company owned stations so long as they are maintained according to OSHA and other applicable standards.
  • Employees should limit the use of co-worker’s tools and equipment. To the extent tools must be shared, the Company will provide alcohol-based wipes to clean tools before and after use. When cleaning tools and equipment, consult manufacturing recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions.
  • Employees are encouraged to limit the need for N95 respirator use, by using engineering and work practice controls to minimize exposure. The use of cloth type facial coverings will be deployed to ensure the safety of the employees.
  • When practical and where projects are of larger size, the Company will divide crews/staff into multiple teams not to exceed 10 per team, so that projects can continue working effectively in the event that one of the divided teams is required to quarantine.
  • When practical and where projects are of larger size, as part of the division of crews/staff, the Company may elect to divide employees into dedicated shifts, at which point employees will remain with their dedicated shifts for the reminder of the project. If there is a legitimate reason for an employee to change shifts, the Company will have sole discretion in making that alteration.
  • Employees are encouraged to minimize ride-sharing. All employees arriving on-site will travel with no more than 2 people per vehicle. While in vehicles, employees must ensure adequate ventilation.
  • Commuter (day trip) traffic to and from Vermont by those who travel daily between Vermont and adjacent states is authorized for essential travel
  • If practicable, each employee should use/drive the same truck or piece of equipment every shift. If this is not practical, then the equipment and/or vehicle shall be thoroughly sanitized by the operator/driver at the completion of their shift in preparation for the next operator/driver.
  • In lieu of using a common source of drinking water, such as a cooler, employees should use individual water bottles.

 

  1. Workers entering Occupied Building and Homes
  • Construction and maintenance activities within occupied homes, office buildings, and other establishments, present unique hazards with regards to COVID-19 exposures. Everyone working within such establishments should evaluate the specific hazards when determining best practices related to COVID-19.
  • Interior residential and commercial construction may occur in occupied structures
  • During this work, employees should clean the work areas upon arrival, throughout the workday, and immediately before departure.
  • Employees should ask other occupants to keep a personal distance of six (6) feet at a minimum and shall not occupy interior working zones with a rate greater than 1 employee per 100 square feet. Workers should wash or sanitize hands immediately before starting and after completing the work.
  1. Job Site Visitors
  • Visitors to the job site, including the trailer or office, will be limited to only those necessary for the work.

All visitors must pre-screen in advance of arriving on the job site. Jobsites will have signage outlining the requirements of the pre-screening questions.  If the visitor answers “yes” to any of the following questions, he/she should not be permitted to access the jobsite: Pre-screening Questionnaire Employers should ask the following questions to all employees, visitors and vendors prior to allowing access to the workplace and/or jobsite.

  1. Have you traveled to an area with a known local or interstate spread of COVID-19 in the past 14 days? Yes No
  2. Have you, or anyone in your family, come into close contact (within 6 feet) with someone who has a suspected or confirmed COVID – 19 diagnosis in the past 14 days either at home or on a jobsite, etc.? Yes No
  3. Have you had a fever (greater than 100.4 F or 38.0 C) OR symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing in the past 14 days? Yes No
  4. Are you currently experiencing a fever (greater than 100.4 F or 38.0 C) OR symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing? Yes No

*NOTE:  If an employee, visitor or vendor answer ‘Yes’ to any of the above questions, ask them to leave the workplace or jobsite immediately and seek medical evaluation.  In addition, you should strongly consider following the tips below.

Before the employee departs, ensure you have a full list of affected employees who should be sent home (i.e., individuals who worked in close proximity (three to six feet for an extended period of time) with them in the previous days.)

  1. Personal Protective Equipment and Work Practice Controls
  • Employees shall ensure standard disposable PPE is disposed of properly and any and all reusable PPE is properly sanitized prior to transferring the equipment to the next user.
  • In addition to regular PPE for workers engaged in various tasks (fall protection, hard hats, hearing protection), the Company will also provide:
  • Gloves: Gloves should be worn at all times where appropriate. The type of glove worn should be appropriate to the task. If gloves are not typically required for the task, then any type of glove is acceptable, including latex gloves. Employees will in no case share gloves.
  • Eye protection: Eye protection should be worn at all times while on-site.
  • NOTE: The CDC is currently not recommending that healthy people wear N95 respirators to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cloth type facial coverings are acceptable and required, when working in close proximity to other workers. It is recommended that facial coverings should be mandatory PPE when working within 6’ of other workers.
  • Keep exposure down by using engineering and work practice controls.
  • Limit exposure time to the extent practicable.
  • Isolate workers in exposed operations by using delineation or distance to limit exposure to those employees who are conducting the tasks, thereby protecting nonessential workers and bystanders.
  • Institute a rigorous housekeeping program to reduce exposure levels on the jobsite.
  • Employees shall be educated on the general care for their personal belongings after exiting the site. This education shall include instructing them to change work clothes prior to entering their home and washing their work clothes in hot water with laundry sanitizer, daily.
  1. Job Site Cleaning and Disinfecting

The Company has instituted regular housekeeping practices, which include cleaning and disinfecting frequently used tools and equipment, and other elements of the work environment, where possible. Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.

  • Jobsite trailers and break/lunchroom areas will be cleaned at least once per day. Employees performing cleaning will be issued proper personal protective equipment (“PPE”), such as nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves and gowns, as recommended by the CDC. The site Supervisor or CSRO shall ensure one or more individuals are assigned to this daily task and it is carried out.
  • Any trash collected from the jobsite must be changed frequently by someone wearing nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves.
  • Any portable jobsite toilets should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily by our cleaning crew and by the leasing company at least twice per week and disinfected on the inside, restocked sanitizer and handles wiped and cleaned after all breaks.
  • The Company will ensure that hand sanitizer dispensers are always filled. Frequently touched items (i.e. door pulls and toilet seats) will be disinfected frequently.  Signage educating employees of proper hygiene and sanitization shall be installed at toilet entries.
  • Vehicles and equipment/tools should be cleaned at least once per day and before change in operator or rider.
  • Cleaning techniques such as using pressurized air or water sprays that may result in the generation of bioaerosols should be avoided.
  • OSHA has indicated that a reliable report that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 does not typically require an employer to perform special cleaning or decontamination of work environments, unless those environments are visibly contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids.2 Notwithstanding this, the Company will clean those areas of the jobsite that a confirmed-positive individual may have contacted and it will do so before employees can access that work space again.
  • The Company will ensure that any disinfection shall be conducted using one of the following:
  • Common EPA-registered household disinfectant;
  • Alcohol solution with at least 60% alcohol; or
  • Diluted household bleach solutions (if appropriate for the surface).
  • The Company will maintain Safety Data Sheets of all disinfectants used on site.

 

  1. Jobsite Exposure Situations
  • Employee Exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms

If an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, the employee must remain at home until he or she is symptom free for 72 hours (3 full days) without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants). The Company will similarly require an employee who reports to work with symptoms to return home until he or she is symptom free for 72 hours (3 full days). To the extent practical, employees are required to obtain a doctor’s note clearing them to return to work.

  • Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 will be directed to self-quarantine away from work. Employees that test positive and are symptom free may return to work when at least seven (7) days have passed since the date of his or her first positive test, and have not had a subsequent illness. Employees who test positive and are directed to care for themselves at home may return to work when: (1) at least 7 days have passed since recovery;3 and (2) at least seven (7) days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Employees who test positive and have been hospitalized may return to work when directed to do so by their medical care providers. The Company will require an employee to provide documentation clearing his or her return to work.

  • Employee Has Close Contact with an Individual Who Has Tested Positive for COVID-19

Employees who have come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 (co-worker or otherwise) will be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that individual. Close contact is defined as six (6) feet for a prolonged period of time.

If the Company learns that an employee has tested positive, the Company will conduct an investigation to determine co-workers who may have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee in the prior days and direct those individuals who have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that employee. If applicable, the Company will also notify any sub-contractors, vendors/suppliers or visitors who may have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee. If an employee learns that he or she has come into close contact with a confirmed-positive individual outside of the workplace, he/she must alert a manager or supervisor of the close contact and self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that individual.3 Recovery is defined as: (1) resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and (2) improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

 

  1. OSHA Recordkeeping

If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is reported, the Company will determine if it meets the criteria for recordability and reportability under OSHA’s recordkeeping rule. OSHA requires construction employers to record work-related injuries and illnesses that meet certain

severity criteria on the OSHA 300 Log, as well as complete the OSHA Form 301 (or equivalent) upon the occurrence of these injuries. For purposes of COVID-19, OSHA also requires employers to report to OSHA any work-related illness that (1) results in a fatality, or (2) results in the in-patient hospitalization of one or more employee. “In-patient” hospitalization is defined as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.

OSHA has made a determination that COVID-19 should not be excluded from coverage of the rule – like the common cold or the seasonal flu – and, thus, OSHA is considering it an “illness.” However, OSHA has stated that only confirmed cases of COVID-19 should be considered an illness under the rule. Thus, if an employee simply comes to work with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but is not a confirmed diagnosis, the recordability analysis is not necessarily triggered at that time.

If an employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the Company will conduct an assessment of any workplace exposures to determine if the case is work-related. Work-relatedness is presumed for illnesses that result from events or exposures in the work environment, unless it meets certain exceptions. One of those exceptions is that the illness involves signs or symptoms that surface at work but result solely from a non-work-related event or exposure that occurs outside of the work environment. Thus, if an employee develops COVID-19 solely from an exposure outside of the work environment, it would not be work-related, and thus not recordable.

The Company’s assessment will consider the work environment itself, the type of work performed, the risk of person-to-person transmission given the work environment, and other factors such as community spread. Further, if an employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19 that is considered work-related, the Company will report the case to OSHA if it results in a fatality within 30 days or an in-patient hospitalization within 24-hours of the exposure incident.

 

VII. Confidentiality/Privacy

 

Except for circumstances in which the Company is legally required to report workplace occurrences of communicable disease, the confidentiality of all medical conditions will be maintained in accordance with applicable law and to the extent practical under the circumstances. When it is required, the number of persons who will be informed that an unnamed employee has tested positive will be kept to the minimum needed to comply with reporting requirements and to limit the potential for transmission to others. The Company reserves the right to inform other employees that an unnamed co-worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19 if the other employees might have been exposed to the disease so the employees may take measures to protect their own health. The Company also reserves the right to inform sub-contractors, vendors/suppliers or visitors that an unnamed employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 if they might have been exposed to the disease so those individuals may take measures to protect their own health.

VIII. General Questions

Given the fast-developing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Company may modify this Plan on a case by case basis. If you have any questions concerning this Plan, please contact

Contact Donald Perry or Joshua Perry 201-991-7896 info@continentalchimney.com .  

This document should NOT be construed as legal advice or any other expression of the scope or nature of a construction contractor’s legal obligation to provide employment and a safe place of employment to its employees, particularly under the unprecedented circumstances that the COVID-19 outbreak has created. In addition, new and better information could well supersede the information included in this document. As the situation evolves, construction contractors should continue to monitor the environment in which they are working and related developments and react accordingly.

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COVID-19 Key-Points and Checklist for Employers and Employees

Know the Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
  • Early symptoms may include chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, DO NOT GO TO WORK and call your supervisor and health-care provider immediately. Do the same thing if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms.

Employer Responsibilities

  • Develop or adopt an accepted COVID-19 Exposure Action Plan.
  • Appointment of a Covid Safety Resource Officer (CSRO)
  • Site Training
  • Review any subs plan to ensure approval.
  • Temperatures are checked before arriving
  • Offices remain shuttered and remote workers remain in place.
  • Conduct safety meetings (toolbox talks) by phone if possible. If not, instruct employees to maintain 6-feet between each other. The foreman/supervisor will track attendance verbally rather than having employees sign an attendance sheet.
  • Access to the job site and work trailer will be limited to only those necessary for the work.
  • All visitors will be pre-screened to ensure they are not exhibiting symptoms.
  • Employees, contractors, and visitors will be asked to leave the jobsite and return home if they are showing symptoms.
  • 10 person crews
  • Jobsites observing Staggered starts and breaks not to exceed 10 people per 15 minute stagger.
  • No one leaves the jobsite
  • Documentation of any deliveries.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and maintain Safety Data Sheets of all disinfectants used on site.
  • Provide protective equipment (PPE) to any employees assigned cleaning/disinfecting tasks.

Employee Responsibilities

  • Become familiar with the Exposure Action Plan and follow all elements of the Plan.
  • Practice good hygiene: wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If these are not available, use alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face, eyes, food, etc. with unwashed hands.

Cleaning/Disinfecting Job Sites and Other Protective Measures

  • Clean and disinfect frequently used tools and equipment on a regular basis. This includes other elements of the jobsite where possible. Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
  • Clean shared spaces such as trailers and break/lunchrooms at least once per day.
  • Disinfect shared surfaces (door handles, machinery controls, etc.) on a regular basis.
  • Avoid sharing tools with co-workers. If not, disinfect before and after each use.
  • Arrange for any portable job site toilets be cleaned and sanitized by on-site personnel

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regularly and by the leasing company at least twice per week and disinfected on the inside.

  • Trash collected from the jobsite must be changed frequently by someone wearing gloves.

Personal Protective Equipment and Alternate Work Practice Controls

  • Provide and wear the proper PPE.
  • No sharing of PPE
  • Wear Gloves
  • Isolate operators.
  • Wear cloth facial coverings at all times while engaged in work practices that don’t allow for 6 foot distancing

 

 

 

COVID-19 Toolbox Talk

What is COVID-19?

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is one of seven types of known human coronaviruses. COVID-19, like the MERS and SARS coronaviruses, likely evolved from a virus previously found in animals. The remaining known coronaviruses cause a significant percentage of colds in adults and children, and these are not a serious threat for otherwise healthy adults.

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Chinese authorities identified an outbreak caused by a novel—or new—coronavirus. The virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. The outbreak began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has spread to a growing number of other countries—including the United States.

How is COVID-19 Spread?

COVID-19, like other viruses, can spread between people. Infected people can spread COVID-19 through their respiratory secretions, especially when they cough or sneeze. According to the CDC, spread from person-to-person is most likely among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like influenza and other respiratory pathogens. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It is currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

In assessing potential hazards, employers should consider whether their workers may encounter someone infected with COVID-19 in the course of their duties. Employers should also determine if workers could be exposed to environments (e.g., worksites) or materials (e.g., laboratory samples, waste) contaminated with the virus.

Depending on the work setting, employers may also rely on identification of sick individuals who have signs, symptoms, and/or a history of travel to COVID-19-affected areas that indicate potential infection with the virus, in order to help identify exposure risks for workers and implement appropriate control measures.

There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.

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COVID-19 Prevention and Work Practice Controls:
Worker Responsibilities

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home—DO NOT GO TO WORK.
  • Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

General Job Site / Office Practices

  • Clean AND disinfect 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 COVID-19, 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. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used tools and equipment on a regular basis.
  • This includes other elements of the jobsite where possible.
  • Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
  • Clean shared spaces such as trailers and break/lunchrooms at least once per day.
  • Disinfect shared surfaces (door handles, machinery controls, etc.) on a regular basis.
  • Avoid sharing tools with co-workers if it can be avoided. If not, disinfect before and after each use.
  • Arrange for any portable job site toilets to be cleaned twice daily by personnel and by the leasing company at least twice per week and disinfected on the inside.
  • Any trash collected from the jobsite must be changed frequently by someone wearing gloves.
  • In addition to regular PPE for workers engaged in various tasks (fall protection, hard hats, hearing protection), employers will also provide:
  • Gloves: Gloves should be worn at all times while on-site. The type of glove worn should be appropriate to the task. If gloves are not typically required for the task, then any type of glove is acceptable, including latex gloves. Gloves should not be shared if at all possible.
  • Eye protection: Eye protection should be worn at all times while on-site.

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