COVID-19 Field Operations Plan – Minimum Standards:
- Conduct a hazard assessment to determine potential sources of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), such as close contact between coworkers or between workers and members of the public with COVID-19.
- Use the CDC COVID-19 exposure control planning tool.
CONTROLLING AND PREVENTION
- Implement the appropriate hierarchy of controls, including elimination, substitution, engineering, and administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE) selected as a result of an employer’s hazard assessment.
- Implement engineering controls wherever possible (e.g., physical barriers/shields to separate workers, enhanced ventilation).
- Implement administrative controls wherever possible (e.g., staggering work shifts, limiting breakroom capacity, practicing social distancing, ensuring workers wear face masks).
- Encourage appropriate PPE, identified through hazard assessments and following OSHA’s standards at 29 CFR 1910, Subpart I, and OSHA and CDC guidance on PPE use.
PROMOTING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND FACE MASKS
- Implement social distancing guidelines that include keeping at least six feet distance (2 arms’ length) between coworkers, and implement face masking guidelines.
- Post signage reminding personnel to maintain at least six feet between one another.
CLEANING, DISINFECTION, AND HAND HYGIENE
- Implement hand hygiene and cleaning/disinfection procedures:
- Provide soap, water, and paper towels for workers and visitors to wash their hands, and encourage frequent and proper (for at least 20 seconds) handwashing.
- Provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and encourage workers to use it frequently when they cannot readily wash their hands.
- Explore alternate ways to promote hand hygiene if difficulty sourcing hand sanitizer and running water is not available. Examples include mobile hand washing stations, large (5+ gallon) buckets with a lid and tap to provide water, and multiple handwashing stations.
- Identify high-traffic areas and surfaces or items that are shared or frequently touched that could become contaminated. Target them for enhanced cleaning and disinfection using EPA-registered disinfectants.
MANAGING SICK WORKERS
- Identify and isolate sick employees, including practices for worker self-monitoring or screening, and isolating and excluding from the workplace any employees with symptoms of COVID-19 or who had contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
- Employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home.
- Have a procedure in place for the safe transport of an employee who becomes sick while at work. The employee may need to be transported home or to a healthcare provider.
- Be familiar with local COVID-19 testing sites in the event your employee(s) develops symptoms.
- Inform employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality. Workers with close contact (within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over 24 hours) to a person with COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure. (Although CDC continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine, options are provided to shorten the quarantine period to after Day 7 or after Day 10.) Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. Follow CDC and state/local guidance on what to do when someone has a known exposure.
RETURN TO WORK AFTER WORKER EXPOSURE TO COVID-19
- Employees should be advised about the returning to work procedures.
- Avoid sharing objects and equipment with other employees, including phones, desks, or other workbenches, work tools, and equipment, when possible.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, like shared tools, machines, vehicles and other equipment, handrails, ladders, doorknobs, and portable toilets. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water before disinfection. To disinfect, use EPA-registered disinfectants.
- Follow CDC guidance for discontinuing self-isolation and returning to work after illness or discontinuing self-quarantine and monitoring after exposure, as appropriate for the workplace.
- Utilize CDC guidance for resuming business toolkit for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
PROVIDE EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND COMMUNICATION
- Inform employees of workplace flexibilities, including those concerning remote work and sick leave.
- Evaluate existing policies and, if needed, consider revisions that facilitate the appropriate use of remote work, sick or other types of leave, and other options that help minimize workers’ risk of exposure.
- Talk about workplace flexibilities, and ensure workers understand how to use available options (e.g., sick leave and remote work policies).
- Provide education and training to your workers on symptoms of COVID-19 and risks of worker exposure to SARS-CoV-2; where and how employees might be exposed in the workplace; and how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at work.