As more home-based employees return to the workplace in the months ahead, employers face new COVID-19 workplace safety, training and reporting challenges.
In a recent NJBIA webinar, attorney Wayne Pinkstone, of Fox Rothschild in Princeton, provided examples of some of the most common COVID-related citations that are being issued by inspectors from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and how to mitigate compliance risks.
“The training on the use of personal protective equipment, such as N95 facemasks, has become, and is, a big issue in dealing with OSHA,” Pinkstone said. “If you’re going to provide your employees with PPE, they’re going to expect you to train your employees. You cannot expect your employees to know how to properly use the PPE, even though you may think that it’s obvious.”
OSHA inspectors are also checking whether employers are following proper sanitation and record–keeping procedures related to COVID-19, Pinkstone said.
“Sanitation, cleanliness and hygiene are also the issues that OSHA is expecting employers to deal with, along with record-keeping … reporting employees testing COVID positive and potentially contracting COVID in the workplace,” he said.
Pinkstone also discussed the need for updating employer policies to address COVID-19 issues, and other COVID-related legal questions, such as how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes into play when employees request workplace accommodations because of underlying health conditions that put them at risk for coronavirus complications.
Go here to listen to the free “Reopening Workplaces Safely During COVID-19″ webinar.