To help employers re-open businesses safely and protect the safety and health of employees, Lion News staff is reviewing standards for COVID-19 preparedness, workplace controls, and employee training on a state-by-state basis.
To learn more, view our list of states with COVID-19 programs in place.
The NY State Legislature passed the Hero Act on April 20, which would give workers in the Empire State additional protections related to COVID-19. If signed into law, the bill would authorize the State Labor and Health Departments to create an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan
, which employers (including all private employers) would have to adopt or establish a similar standard for their businesses. Employers who fail to follow this mandate could be fined.
The bill heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo for final approval.
Original Blog Article Text
Under the Department of Health's NY Forward
standards, each business or entity must develop a written Safety Plan that outlines how the employer will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employer are not required to submit the plan, but it must be it must be complete and readily available in the event of an inspection.
New York’s COVID-19 guidelines for employers take a holistic approach, requiring businesses to prepare their own procedures for physical distancing, protective equipment, hygiene and cleaning, health screenings, and contact tracing.
Employers must ensure workers can maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from one another. If this is not possible, face coverings must be provided. This also includes limiting in-person gatherings and limiting occupancy in confined spaces.
Businesses are required to provide their employees face coverings at no cost to the employee. Although the guidelines specify that the face coverings must be cleaned or replaced after each use or when damaged, it does not specify who would be responsible for such mask maintenance duties.
Hygiene & Cleaning:
CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the workplace
must be followed and facilities are required to maintain logs to document when and where cleaning/disinfecting is performed. Facilities must also develop procedures to limit touching of shared surfaces or objects
Employers must provide mandatory health screenings or questionnaires and provide training to any workers administering screenings. Employers must also review results daily and document each review.
In the event of a positive case, employers must implement contact tracing, cleaning, and disinfection to prevent further spread.
New York provides a Safety Plan template
that employers can use to prepare a COVID-19 written safety plan.
Under the OSH Act of 1970, employers must provide a workplace free of recognized hazards that can hurt or kill workers, including infectious diseases like COVID-19.
Available Now: COVID-19 Safety Awareness Online Training
This week, Lion launched the COVID-19 Employee Safety Awareness Online Course
to help US workplaces re-open safely. As facilities nationwide begin to re-open, it is crucial that employees know how to protect themselves and their co-workers from exposure to COVID-19.
The course prepares employees to:
The course is designed to help employers nationwide satisfy COVID-19 employee awareness and training requirements now in place in many states.
- Recognize signs, symptoms, and risk factors for COVID-19
- Describe how the COVID-19 disease is transmitted
- Follow recommended hygiene and work protocols to prevent exposure
- Properly use and care for PPE and face coverings, when required