When it comes to reducing COVID-19 exposure risks in the workplace, there are several options available. Control measures are categorized as engineering controls (equipment or physical structures to reduce exposures), administrative controls (policies and procedures), and personal protective equipment or PPE (protective equipment that is worn by employees).
Engineering controls are generally more effective than administrative controls, and PPE should be used as a last resort. We have provided several examples of control measures that you should consider. Choose the ones that would work best for your business, and include them in your written IIPP or COVID-19 Protection Program (CPP).
- Encourage and support vaccination against COVID-19.
- Increase air filter eficiency of HVAC to highest compatible Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) rating.
- Provide portable HEPA air ilters in poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Maximize amount of outdoor air entering the building.
- Minimize amount of air recirculated through the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system.
- Install Ultra Violet Germicidal Disinfectant (UVGI) air disinfection.
- Screen employees and visitors entering the workplace for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Physical distancing – maintain at least 6 feet of separation between people.
- Allow working from home whenever possible.
- Hold meetings/trainings via a virtual platform such as Zoom or WebEx.
- Rearrange stationary workstations to be at least 6 feet apart from each other; mark the floor around workstations to indicate space employee should stay within.
- Stagger shift start times and breaks.
- Mark the floor to show where people should stand 6 feet apart when in lines, e.g. bathrooms, symptom-screening station, food vendors.
- Arrange seating in break areas to be 6 feet apart and remove extra seating.
- Establish one-way pedestrian traffic routes for stairways and aisles, and provide visual cues.
- Require face coverings at all times regardless of physical distancing.
- Provide time for employees to wash/sanitize their hands frequently.
- Provide additional hand washing sinks or hand sanitizer stations.
- Discontinue non-essential travel (for work purposes).
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Use emails, paper forms, and drop boxes to collect information or products from customers or employees to reduce contact time during in-person visits.
- Post informational signage throughout facility, such as symptoms, transmission routes, physical distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection.
- Do not touch your eyes, mouth, nose, or face with unwashed hands.
- Provide training on COVID-19 symptoms, how the virus is spread, methods to prevent transmission, proper use of PPE, proper use of and care for face coverings.
- Inspect the workplace or areas of special concern regularly to ensure that protective measures are being followed.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Air-purifying respirator equipped with particulate filters N95 or better
- Powered air-purifying respirator equipped with particulate filters N95 or better
- Safety goggles/glasses