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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in covid

In a new study, 46% of frontline workers say they are never, rarely, or only sometimes listened to concerning safety issues.

Read entire article - https://www.ehstoday.com/safety-leadership/article/21181484/frontline-workers-safety-concerns-not-being-addressed-by-companies

 

Before the onset of the COVID pandemic two years ago, prioritizing workplace safety and health was crucial not only to keep your employees safe and healthy, but also to help mitigate company losses. Studies show each unhealthy employee costs employers on average 27.5 productive days per year. This stat was before we had a global pandemic!

If employee health and safety weren’t on the forefront before, it sure is now! With variants continuing to emerge and breakthrough cases becoming more commonplace, employers and employees are looking at how to stay safe. Taking a proactive approach to prioritize safety in the workplace will go a long way in helping calm the fears.

Here are some helpful tips to show your team their safety needs are being supported:
• Supply personal protective equipment and, if possible, rearrange working spaces to allow distance between employees
• Implement good hygiene practices, including hand hygiene and workplace cleaning – provide sufficient cleaning and disinfection supplies and equipment
• If you have customers visiting the workspace, they should follow the safety rules in place, and you may have additional safety rules specific to visitors
• Offer COVID-19 testing – either kits they can take home or tests they can take during work hour – and if there is a positive case, let others know of their possible exposure as quickly as possible
• If possible, allow employees to work remotely – the ability to work from home (even part-time) will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission

It’s been a long two years, but we must remain vigilant and protect workers and others at the workplace from the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

On November 4, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its much-anticipated mandate-or-test workplace vaccine emergency rule (“the Rule”). The Rule requires employers with 100 or more employees to either mandate covered employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or require covered employees that are not fully vaccinated to test for COVID-19 at least weekly and wear a face covering. The Rule went into effect immediately on November 5 with employers expected to comply by no later than January 4, but implementation has since been halted due to pending legal challenges.

Read entire article: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/challenged-osha-s-rule-mandating-covid-vaccinations-or-weekly-testing-employers

Tagged in: covid OSHA

On September 9, the White House announced Executive Order 14042, which requires covered federal contracts to include a clause mandating compliance with guidance that had yet to be issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force released its much-anticipated guidance.

Read entire article - https://www.natlawreview.com/article/task-force-guidance-issued-federal-contractor-vaccination-mandate

According to several media sources, there appears to be a degree of confusion about the purpose of HIPAA, who it applies to, and whether asking someone if they have had a COVID-19 vaccine constitutes a HIPAA violation.

Read entire article - https://www.hipaajournal.com/is-it-a-hipaa-violation-to-ask-for-proof-of-vaccine-status/

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provided a three-month extension to several emergency waivers enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualifying truck and bus drivers now have through August 31, 2021, to operating under the terms of the new waivers. However, the FMCSA could terminate or modify the waivers before then.

Read entire article - https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/extension-expanded-modified-emergency-declaration-no-2020-002-under-49-cfr-ss-39025-may

Patterns of addiction usually increase during natural disasters and pandemics. This past year, many people were quarantined and struggling with economic uncertainties, while also juggling school and work schedules and everything in between. Those who were already struggling with pre-existing mental illnesses or substance abuse issues may have turned to illicit substance use as a way to cope with the extra distress of the past year, and COVID-19 has exacerbated the opioid crisis – some studies showing that 2020 will be the worst year for opioid overdoses.

This year’s National Prevention Week is May 9-15, and this public education platform focuses on promoting prevention year-round through providing ideas, capacity building, tools, and resources to help individuals and communities make substance use prevention happen every day. Alcohol and drug use in the workplace causes many expensive problems, including lost productivity, injuries and an increase in health insurance claims – loss to companies is estimated to be $100 billion a year, according to the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI).

According to NCADI statistics, alcohol and drug users are far less productive, use 3X as many sick days, are more likely to injure themselves or someone else, and are 5x more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim. It’s important for the safety of your employees, as well as the health of your company, to establish a drug-free workplace program. Most successful drug-free workplace programs have five key components:

1. A written policy
2. Employee education
3. Supervisor training
4. An employee assistance program (EAP)
5. Drug testing

For an explanation of these, as well as a Drug-Free Workplace Toolkit provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), check out their website. Saying this past year has been a tough year is an understatement. Taking firm steps to help keep your employees safe and healthy should be a priority.

CDC’s Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 FFRs were written to follow a continuum using the surge capacity approach in the order of conventional (everyday practice), contingency (expected shortages), and crisis (known shortages) capacities. N95 FFRs are meant to be disposed after each use. CDC developed contingency and crisis strategies to help healthcare facilities conserve their supplies in the face of shortages.

Read entire article - 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/decontamination-reuse-respirators.html

 

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