On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor released the latest version of OSHA's Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Designed as a guideline for employers, the response plan offers both instruction and direction to safety and health officers as they navigate through a wide range of complaints, referrals, and cases related to the COVID-19 illness.
OSHA is committed to establishing and enforcing the necessary standards throughout the duration of this global pandemic. As an employer, it's essential to stay on top of the latest OSHA guidelines to ensure you have the insight and access to resources needed to keep your facility and people protected at all times. Some of the key takeaways from OSHA's Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) include:
According to the most recent response plan, OSHA should follow up on any grievances, referrals, and employer-reported hospitalization and fatalities to ensure that employers take fast, appropriate action needed to help reduce risks and safeguard staff members.
The OSHA response plan recognizes that an employer may not be made immediately aware of an event, hospitalization, or fatality that requires reporting. The response plan outlines that an OSHA report must be made within a specific time period after an employer or its agent learns about a reportable event. Employers need to file an OSHA report within 8 hours for a fatality and within 24 hours for an inpatient hospitalization, an amputation, or loss of an eye.
Rapid Response Investigation
Once the OSHA report is filed, the Area Director decides whether to follow up with an inspection or Rapid Response Investigation (RRI). RRIs are used to identify existing risks, offer hazard mitigation, and ultimately confirm threat abatement. OSHA encourages RRIs whenever possible.
Risk Level Exposure
Before an inspection can take place, every area director (AD) should assess the potential threat level of exposure to the virus within the workplace to align and prioritize resources as needed. If an area director decides to schedule an on-site inspection, compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) must carefully assess risk and minimize exposure as much as possible.
Perry Construction Prioritizes Facility and Staff Safety at all Times
At Perry Construction, we always make facility and staff safety a top priority on all of our CAPEX projects. Our team is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest OSHA response guidelines to ensure we maintain the very highest standards at all times. To learn more about OSHA's Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019, visit: https://www.osha.gov/memos/2020-04-13/interim-enforcement-response-plan-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19