OSHA has issued an alert to provide general practices and interim guidance to help prevent worker exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The novel coronavirus (officially called COVID-19) is believed to spread from person-to-person, primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus is also believed to spread by people touching a surface or object and then touching one’s mouth, nose, or possibly the eyes.
Employers and workers should follow these general practices to help prevent exposure to coronavirus:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and running water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Employers of workers with potential occupational exposures to coronavirus should follow these practices:
- Assess the hazards to which workers may be exposed.
- Evaluate the risk of exposure.
- Select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure, including physical barriers to control the spread of the virus; social distancing; and appropriate personal protective equipment, hygiene, and cleaning supplies.
For the latest information on the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus webpage. For interim guidance and other resources on protecting workers from coronavirus, see OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage.