The Occupational Health and Safety Administration recently released new guidance designed to help identify risks of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace and determine appropriate control measures to implement. The guidance states that employers should implement COVID-19 prevention programs in the workplace to mitigate exposure risks. Elements of the prevention programs include:
- conducting a COVID-19 workplace hazard assessment;
- ensuring infected or potentially infected workers are separated and sent home;
- communicating COVID-19 policies and procedures to both English- and non-English-speaking workers; and
- explaining that face coverings and social distancing remain important practices for vaccinated workers.
Each of these elements, as well as other protective measures, is discussed in detail in the guidance. While OSHA’s guidance is not, technically, mandatory, the agency considers an employer’s good faith efforts to comply with safety and health standards and guidance when determining whether to cite a potential violation.
Most dealerships have already incorporated many of the elements contained in the guidance to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. The OSHA and Center for Disease Control COVID recommendations have also been incorporated in the Coalition’s NJ CAR Clean program, which has been adopted by hundreds of dealership rooftops around the State. NJ CAR recommends dealers review their current workplace safety program to ensure it complies with OSHA, CDC and New Jersey State requirements and to identify possible ways to strengthen their response.