OSHA has issued a new alert listing steps employers can follow to implement social (physical) distancing in the workplace. As states lift restrictions and more employees start heading back to work, it is important for employers to help protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus during these unprecedented times.
Social (physical) distancing involves maintaining at least six feet of distance between people and is an effective way to help reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. The following steps can help employers implement social distancing in the workplace:
- Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
- Isolate any worker who begins to exhibit symptoms until they can either go home or leave to seek medical care.
- Establish flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), if feasible.
- In workplaces where customers are present, mark six-foot distances with floor tape in areas where lines form, use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, and limit the number of customers allowed at one time.
- Stagger breaks and rearrange seating in common break areas to maintain physical distance between workers.
- Move or reposition workstations to create more distance and install plexiglass partitions.
- Encourage workers to bring any safety and health concerns to the employers’ attention.
OSHA’s social distancing alert is available for download in English and Spanish. For additional information, visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage.