Yesterday, OSHA issued guidance detailing a 3-phase roadmap for nonessential businesses reopening their doors following COVID-19 shutdowns and guidelines for employer reopening policies. The guidance outlines 3 phases for reopening the workplace: 

  • Phase 1: Encourage continued telework; limit the number of employees returning to the workplace to maintain strict social distancing; limit non-essential business travel; and consider accommodations for workers at higher risk of severe illness and for workers with household members at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. When considering accommodations for vulnerable workers, as we blogged about here and here, the EEOC recently issued extensive guidance to help employers navigate these complex issues.
  • Phase 2: Encourage continued telework; non-essential business travel can resume; ease limitations on the number of employees in the workplace while still maintaining social distancing; and continue to accommodate vulnerable workers as outlined in Phase 1.
  • Phase 3: Resume unrestricted staffing at worksites.

The guidance also encourages employers to develop and implement reopening plans addressing prevention, monitoring, and responding to any emergency or resurgence of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers reopening plans should include: 

  • Hazard assessment;
  • Hygiene practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  • Social distancing;
  • Identification and isolation of sick employees;
  • Returning to work after illness or exposure;
  • Engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices and PPE;
  • Workplace flexibility;
  • Employee training on signs, symptoms, risk factors and how to prevent the spread of COVID-19; and
  • Anti-retaliation.

OSHA also answered a series of frequently asked questions regarding worksite testing, temperature checks and health screenings.  OSHA encourages at-home temperature checks rather than workplace temperature checks. Specifically, OSHA states that "temperature screening efforts are likely to be most beneficial when conducted at home by individual workers, with employers' temperature screening plans relying on workers' self-monitoring and staying home if they have a fever or other signs or symptoms of illness, rather than employers directly measuring temperatures after workers arrive at the work site."  

Please note that many states and localities have enacted stricter requirements for reopening your business and employers should continually monitor federal, state, and local governments for locality-specific information and re-opening requirements.

Need assistance navigating federal, state, and local requirements for reopening your business? Don't worry, we're here to help!

Back to News & Resources