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DOL Issues New OSHA Guidance As Non-Essential Businesses Reopen

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued new guidance to assist employers reopening non-essential businesses and their employees returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new guidance is intended to supplement DOL and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ previously developed Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and the White House’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. These new guidelines provide general principles for updating restrictions originally put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. During each phase of the reopening process, OSHA says employers should continue to focus on strategies for basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibilities, and employee training.

Further, OSHA says non-essential businesses should reopen as state and local governments lift stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders and follow public health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal requirements or guidelines. Employers should continue to consider ways to use workplace flexibilities, such as remote work and alternative business operations, to provide goods and services to customers.

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