Using LiveSafe to Comply with OSHA’s 16-Point Guidance

Using LiveSafe to Comply with OSHA’s 16-Point Guidance

On January 29, 2021, OSHA released “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.” Within this guidance, OSHA provides 16 points of consideration for employers and workers seeking to understand and prevent COVID-19 as they return to work.

Here, we discuss the ways that LiveSafe and other Vector Solutions tools can help your organization remain in compliance with each point of this guidance. Below find OSHA’s 16 elements, in a shortened format, and how Vector Solutions can help you address them.

1. Assign a workplace coordinator for COVID issues

Once you choose a COVID-19 workplace coordinator, use LiveSafe’s broadcast message functionality to inform all employees. Then, add the coordinator’s role description and contact information to LiveSafe Resources for employees to easily access, with or without internet connection.

2. Identify where and how workers might get exposed to COVID at work

Employees can submit LiveSafe tips about COVID-related hazards in the workplace, such as coworkers congregating without masks. This helps organizational leadership identify how the workforce may be exposed and develop corresponding prevention strategies.

In addition, Vector Solutions’s safety management software, IndustrySafe, enables organizations to proactively improve safety and achieve regulatory compliance. Using IndustrySafe, organizations can create Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) checklists, conduct risk assessments, and mitigate and manage risk through company-wide policies.

3. Identify a combination of measures to help control the spread of COVID using the hierarchy of controls

Use employee-submitted LiveSafe tips to identify appropriate COVID-19 safety measures and communicate them using LiveSafe Broadcast and Resources. Convergence Training, Vector Solutions’s Learning Management System (LMS), can also be used to educate employees on COVID-related safety measures.

4. Consider adding protections for high-risk workers using supportive policies and practices

Enable employees to share policy recommendations using LiveSafe Tip Submit. Once policies have been developed, upload information and guidance into the customizable LiveSafe Resources.

5. Establish a system for communicating effectively with workers about COVID-19 issues in a language the workers can understand

LiveSafe is the industry-leading risk management communications tool. With Broadcast capabilities, Tip Submit, and two-way chat, organizations can easily and effectively communicate with employees in a variety of formats. Additionally, the Vector Solutions Coronavirus Resource Center features several complimentary COVID-19 courses and Convergence Training offers extensive online training for workers in a variety of industries.

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6. Educate and train workers about COVID-19 and your workplaces procedures and policies related to COVID-19 mitigation and control

Include workplace safety and quarantine policies in LiveSafe Resources. Employees can use LiveSafe Emergency Options to communicate with emergency services and find nearby health resources on the Safety Map. Convergence Training‘s online training can also be used to educate employees about COVID-19 best practices.

7. Instruct workers who are sick, potentially sick, exposed, or potentially exposed to isolate/quarantine

Isolation and quarantine policies can be included in LiveSafe Resources and frequently communicated using LiveSafe Broadcast functionality. Health and safety locations near your organization may be added to the LiveSafe Safety Map for easy access.

8. Implement policies, procedures, and other actions to support workers who are isolating/quarantining

Use LiveSafe to share mental health resources and organizational points of contact. The LiveSafe platform can also be used to engage in two-way conversations with employees who may be struggling.

9. Isolate workers who show symptoms at work

Use LiveSafe to communicate policies for workplace isolation. For further information on when and how to isolate workers, refer to the Convergence Training online learning library.

10. Implement enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures if people who are confirmed positive or suspected positive enter your facility

Use Convergence Training online learning and Vector Solutions coronavirus courses to share disinfecting procedures with your workforce. You can also use IndustrySafe to create virtual safety data sheet (SDS) collections for your COVID-19 cleaning and disinfection products.

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11. Provide employees with guidance on screening and testing for COVID-19

Upload testing and vaccination locations to the LiveSafe Safety Map for easy access and share relevant updates through Broadcast. LiveSafe also offers customizable surveys that employees can use to self-report COVID-19 symptoms, vaccination status, and potential exposures.

12. Record and report work-related COVID-19 infections and deaths

LiveSafe daily health surveys can be customized and deployed to help your organization assess whether employees have had COVID-19 exposure, are experiencing symptoms, or have received a vaccination. Additionally, IndustrySafe facilitates work-related COVID-19 reporting and record-keeping.

13. Establish a system for employees to anonymously raise concerns about COVID-19 issues without fear of retaliation

LiveSafe was purpose-built for two-way risk management communications. Employees can submit reports, anonymously if desired, using LiveSafe Tip Submit and can communicate about them using two-way chat.

14. Make COVID-19 vaccinations freely available to employees and provide training about the safety and value of the vaccine

Once your organization has made vaccines available to employees, upload vaccination policies to LiveSafe Resources and add relevant locations to the Safety Map. Use LiveSafe Broadcast to communicate relevant updates to your workforce.

15. Don’t distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated workers (i.e. maintain the same health and safety standards) 

Use LiveSafe Broadcasts to remind employees that vaccination status does not alter workplace health and safety policies.

16. Comply with other relevant OSHA standards

In addition to following this 16-point guidance, be sure to follow all other relevant OSHA standards. Examples include:

  • The OSHA General Duty Clause states that in addition to complying with all OSHA standards, employers must give all employees “employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards,” including COVID-19. Following the safety protocols described in the section above can help maintain compliance.
  • OSHA Standard 1904.5 requires employers to record work-related COVID-19 illness on Form 300 logs and report it to health departments per local regulations.

OSHA-Compliant Return-to-Work Strategies

As your organization plans for a safe return to work amid COVID-19, OSHA’s 16-point guidance is a valuable reference point. LiveSafe, along with other Vector Solutions offerings, can help you comply with this guidance and keep workforce safe and healthy.

In addition to deploying LiveSafe, continue using our free COVID Return-to-Work Checklist to help implement OSHA’s 16-point guidance into your workplace COVID-19 prevention strategy.

ALEXANDRA BRUNJES

Alexandra Brunjes has a B.S. in Neurobiology from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with minors in Creative Writing and French. She is a published journalist and experienced health and science writer. Her expertise includes risk intelligence, healthcare and neuroscience, and technology.

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