Page 16 - Arkansas 811 Magazine 2020 Issue 3
P. 16

OSHA Rules Still in Force During Pandemic
Heightened awareness of the invisible hazard a top priority
By Michael Downes W
811 Magazines
hile the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on nearly every aspect of American
life, work in the construction and utility industries continues full steam ahead.
And Coronavirus is just one of many workplace hazards that face workers every day.
The US Department of Labor, through Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has issued guidance
for utility construction workers during the pandemic, in addition to continuing their regular enforcement and oversight activities.
The first portion of the guidance addresses exposure risk levels. Lower risk of virus transmission includes “Tasks that allow employees to remain at least six feet apart and involve little contact with the public, visitors or customers.”
Medium risk tasks include situations where workers are closer than 6 feet from each other, customers, visitors or other members of the public.
High risk tasks include “Entering an indoor work site occupied by people such as other workers, customers or residents suspected of having or known to have COVID-19, including when an occupant of the site reports signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19.”
Fortunately, none of the “very high” risk category tasks are anticipated in the construction industry.
Still, it’s important to encourage workers to stay home if they have symptoms of COVID-19, and encourage workers to wear face coverings when possible to prevent transmission.
More about OSHA’s construction industry guidelines can be found here:
14 • Arkansas 811 Magazine 2020, Issue 3

   14   15   16   17   18