U.S. Department of Labor Releases Checklist to Protect Employees in the Food Industry
On August 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a newly developed checklist for human and food manufacturers. Explicitly designed for manufacturers navigating through COVID-19 conditions, the list serves as a guide for companies resuming, continuing, and even re-evaluating their operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Main Components of OSHA’s Latest Food Manufacturing Checklist
OSHA’S Human and Animal Food Manufacturing Checklist is helpful for entities that grow, pack, produce, process, or store animal and human food that’s regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The checklist outlines several distinctive COVID-19 considerations to:
Establish and maintain a safe work environment and employee health
Examine exposure to COVID-19 and identify when employee testing for the virus is necessary
Arrange the workplace to help reduce the threat of coronavirus transmission among workers
Social Distancing Practices Part of New Department of Labor’s Checklist
The new OSHA checklist also considers social distancing, providing examples of including social distancing practices in the workplace. This latest resource should not serve as a standalone guide for manufacturing operations. Human and animal food manufacturers can use this outline in conjunction with other relevant sector information. These tools may include materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as additional pertinent OSHA information designed for workers and employers in the meat and poultry processing and agriculture sectors.
OSHA Has Released Several Resources Throughout Global Pandemic
OSHA has maintained a steady focus on employer and employee safety throughout the coronavirus pandemic, publishing several guidelines, notifications, and advisories across multiple verticals to help U.S. businesses protect staff and maintain a safe work environment. In addition to the latest checklist, OSHA has also released Guidance on Returning to Work, which provides essential information to business owners reopening their operations and transitioning staff members back onsite. Employers and employees should visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay up-to-date on coronavirus alerts and information or visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage for updates.
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