U.S. Department of Labor Issues Alert to Help Keep Manufacturing Workers Safe During Coronavirus Pandemic

Suggestions include social distancing, shift staggering and providing sanitary equipment.


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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect manufacturing workers from exposure to coronavirus.

Safety measures that employers can implement to protect employees working in manufacturing include:

  • Practicing sensible social distancing and maintaining six feet between coworkers, where possible.
  • Establishing flexible work hours, (for example, staggered shifts), if feasible.
  • Training workers on how to properly put on, use, wear, take off and maintain protective clothing and equipment.
  • Allowing workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent spread of the virus.
  • Monitoring public health communications about coronavirus recommendations for the workplace and ensuring that workers have access to and understand that information.
  • Promoting personal hygiene. If workers do not have access to soap and water for hand washing, provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Provide disinfectants and disposable towels workers can use to clean work surfaces.
  • Encouraging  and enabling workers to report any safety and health concerns.

A printable pdf of the alert is available for download in English and Spanish

The alert is part of OSHA’s efforts to educate and protect America’s workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic. OSHA has also published “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” a 35-page document aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.