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CALL US TODAY!
(888) 879-9492

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OSHA: COVID-19 Guidance for the Workplace

COVID-19 spares no one, no country and no workplace. If your place of business is open during the pandemic, OSHA COVID-19 workspace guidance could help you in preparing your workplace. Learn about COVID-19, how to limit your risk of exposure to the virus and how to protect workers.

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus Disease 2019 is a respiratory virus that began in China and has rapidly spread throughout the world. Caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, its symptoms range from mild to severe and sometimes fatal—especially to the elderly and anyone with underlying medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath; the latter is the most concerning. Not everyone infected by COVID-19 has the symptoms, but even asymptomatic people can spread the virus. Here are ways medical professionals think this infectious disease is spread:

  • Between people who are within six feet of each other (if one or more is infected)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Symptomatic people are thought to be most contagious but can unknowingly spread the disease before symptoms present
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How COVID-19 affects the workplace

All it takes is one infected person to spread the virus to another. It can spread exponentially, as we have seen, from there. The workplace is usually close quarters and if an outbreak occurs, it can experience:

  • Mass absenteeism. Even if an employee hasn’t tested positive for the virus, he or she may have to take care of a sick or immunocompromised family member or children who are home because schools and day care facilities are closed.
  • Consumer changes. People may not shop as they used to or may be under a “stay-at-home” order. The way we shop may change as well, with home delivery service and drive-through services being more commonplace.
  • Empty shelves and interrupted delivery. Areas severely impacted by COVID-19 may be experiencing limited supplies of products or delayed delivery services.

Employers’ steps to reduce workers’ risks

One of the first things employers can do is pay attention to recommendations from federal, state and local health agencies. Another important step is to implement an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that considers the level(s) of risk associated with worksites and jobs the workers perform. Consider:

  • Where, how and to what sources of SARS-CoV-2 workers might be exposed, including the general public, customers, coworkers, sick people or those more susceptible to infection and healthcare workers.
  • Risk factors at home and in the community
  • Individual risks, including age, pregnancy, underlying conditions and compromised immune systems
  • Controls needed to assess and address the risks
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Basic infection prevention measures in the workplace

Ensuring good hygiene and practicing infection control can help. Those measures include:

  • Encouraging frequent handwashing with soap and warm water or, as a second choice, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Requesting that sick workers stay home
  • Providing customers and workers with tissues and trash cans
  • Considering flexible work options, such as working from home
  • Understanding workers’ concerns about pay, leave, safety, health and other issues
  • Discouraging the sharing of phones, desks, offices, tools and equipment
  • Maintaining and enforcing good workplace housekeeping practices
  • Identifying and isolating sick people promptly to avoid the spread of the virus
Mandatory safety and health controls

Occupational safety and health professionals employ the “hierarchy of controls” to help control hazards in the workplace. During a pandemic outbreak, such as with COVID-19, it isn’t possible to eliminate the hazard, but you can implement a system of protective measures, including:

  • Engineering controls that reduce exposure (high-efficiency air filters, increased ventilation rates, clear plastic sneeze guard barriers, drive-through windows for customer service, etc.)
  • Administrative controls that at least temporarily change normal business procedure, such as encouraging sick employees to stay home, offering job sharing and/or work-from-home options, discontinuing non-essential business travel
  • Safe work practices that encourage good hygiene
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, masks and respiratory protection when appropriate, properly fitted and based on the hazard to the worker

During the uncertain times of a pandemic, keeping a healthy workplace may help reduce risk to yourself and your workforce. If your small business needs recommendations—especially if yours is a high-hazard worksite—you can contact your OSHA regional office for additional help.

Are you interested in a career in the heavy equipment industry? Heavy Equipment Colleges of America offers training programs that can have you operating equipment in just three weeks.

OPEN THE DOOR TO A NEW CAREER!

Locations

CA – San Bernardino:  1955 W. 9th Street | San Bernardino, CA 92411
 
CA – Ft. Irwin:  306 Langford Lake Road | Bld # TR0403 | CA 92310
(Location is on a military base and is VETERAN ONLY – Career Skills Program (CSP)*)
 
Georgia:  581 Sigman Road, Suite 300 | Conyers, GA 30013
 
North Carolina:  1909 Bragg Blvd, Suite 94 | Fayetteville, NC 28303
 
Oklahoma:  6101 W. Reno Avenue, Suite 1000 | Oklahoma City, OK 73127
 
Washington:  4701 McChord Drive SW | Lakewood, WA 98499
(Location is on military base and is VETERAN ONLY – Career Skills Program (CSP)*and VA Education Benefits)

© 2020 Heavy Equipment Colleges of America. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy 

CALIFORNIA LOCATION ONLY: Heavy Equipment College of America is a private institution approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. Approval to operate means the institution is compliant with the minimum standards contained in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (as amended) and Division 7.5 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. (https://www.bppe.ca.gov/). Access all Catalogs, Student Performance Fact Sheets and Brochures here.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is the government agency responsible for determining eligibility for VA education benefits and for authorizing payment for the benefits. If you have questions about the available benefits or your eligibility, please contact our admissions office at 888- 879-9492. You may also visit https://www.gibill.va.gov to learn more about the available benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Heavy Equipment Colleges of America cannot guarantee employment or career advancement or any particular earnings or salary.

OKLAHOMA LOCATION ONLY: Heavy Equipment Colleges of America has a Certificate of Approval from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The school’s programs are approved by TWC. Students must address their concerns about this school of any of its educational programs by following the grievance process outlined in the school’s catalog. Students dissatisfied with the school’s response to their complaint or who are not able to file a complaint with the school, can file a formal complaint with TWC, as well as with other relevant agencies or accreditors, if applicable. Information on filing a complaint with TWC can be found on TWC’s website at www.texasworkforce.org/careerschoolstudents.

Heavy Equipment Colleges of America endorses the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) and provides training to prepare candidates for CCO examinations.

*The Army’s Career Skills Program (CSP) prepares Soldiers for civilian employment through first-class apprenticeships, on-the-job training, job shadowing, internships and employment skills training. Soldiers are eligible to participate in an Army CSP up to 180 days prior to separation from the Army and after completion of the mandatory 5-day SFL-TAP workshop. To be considered for an open seat in a CSP you must contact the POC at the installation where you want to attend a CSP and submit your commander authorized/signed participation memo in advance of the start date.

WIOA/TAA funded training may be provided only to individuals who qualify for the program and not only if funds are available.