Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated its COVID-19 guidelines to help employers navigate a world with vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.

In its updated guidelines, OSHA has emphasized guidelines for non-healthcare-related industries that typically involve close-quartered contact for extended periods, such as retail, food-service, and other essential positions.

OSHA has stated that fully vaccinated people do not need to take all of the precautions that unvaccinated employees must. The guidance focuses mainly on identifying those employees who are at-risk in the workplace and unvaccinated.

Who are the at-risk workers?

  • Those who have conditions that prevent them from having a full-immune response to vaccinations.
  • Workers with disabilities; under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workers with disabilities may be entitled to accommodations to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19. 
  • Those workers that cannot be protected from a vaccination, cannot get vaccinated or use face coverings. 

What should at-risk or unvaccinated workers do to protect themselves?

  • Try to get vaccinated. Ask your employer if they would consider paid time-off to allow employees to get the vaccination and recover from any effects. 
  • Wear face coverings that properly cover the nose and mouth, especially when working indoors. 
  • Social distance in the workplace. 
  • Cover mouth and nose, wash hands often; monitor daily health to identify COVID-19 symptoms as early as possible. 

How can employers help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while protecting vaccinated and unvaccinated workers?

  • Grant paid time-off for employees to get vaccinated and recover. 
  • Instruct anyone who has tested positive, been exposed, or has symptoms to stay home. 
  • Implement and enforce social distancing guidelines for unvaccinated workers in close-contact spaces. 
  • Provide at-risk and unvaccinated workers with free face coverings and other personal protective equipment (PPE). 
  • Properly educate and train employees on COVID-19 guidelines and procedures. 

As vaccines continue to be widely distributed throughout Texas, schedule your vaccination appointment to protect yourself and others today. 

View the original article from Forbes and OSHA’s updated COVID-19 guidelines for more information. 


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