So, your business is either continuing business or you're eager to a jump‐start your business after this pandemic pause. And workers are also excited to return to work.
But you've heard of employees elsewhere who have died from the Coronavirus (COVID‐19), and one family who is suing that employer. (* See some details, below.) No business owner wants its employees to get hurt or die. Despite Workers Compensation coverage, those businesses where illness or death occur may face heightened exposure and an investigation and costly citation from OSHA, and perhaps others.
How can you and your business address these very serious concerns?
OSHA (and Cal/OSHA) sets safety standards, and it has prepared a pamphlet that requires attention by every business. I've attached a copy, or you can get it at this link: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
Until Cal/OSHA develops State standards, these federal OSHA standards apply. These standards are the floor, or lowest level safety standards that business must comply with.
But, more than OSHA standards may still be required for your region, industry or business. There may still be exposure if reasonable and higher standards are applicable for your business, even if OSHA does not require it.
So, take that opportunity now to review the new OSHA minimal requirements for employee safety in light of the coronavirus (COVID‐19), and stay tuned to newer anticipated Cal/OSHA guidelines. Also, check with your Workers' Compensation carrier for any advice they may have.
Finally, see what else your business could – and should – do beyond the OSHA standards to protect your employees from harm.
This may include simple ordinary common‐sense actions in your workplace beyond OSHA standards that helps save lives and unnecessary exposure to your business.
We look forward to America Returning to Work and the upcoming Business Jump‐Start, but lets be smart and safe about it.