The Centers for Disease Control recently updated its guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting, including those that apply to employers.  These guidelines address proper disinfectant techniques and solutions, and specifically advise how to clean soft surfaces (i.e., carpeted floors, rugs, and drapes), electronics, and laundry.  The CDC’s guidelines also address the appropriate steps to take if an individual in your building or facility tests positive for COVID-19.

Of note, the CDC has also provided additional considerations specific to employers.  In particular, employers should:

  • Educate workers performing cleaning, laundry, and trash pick-up to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Provide instructions on what to do if employees develop symptoms within 14 days after their last possible exposure to the virus.
  • Develop policies for worker protection and provide training to all cleaning staff on site prior to providing cleaning tasks. Such training should include when to use personal protective equipment (PPE), what PPE is necessary, how to properly put on, use, and take off PPE, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
  • Ensure workers are trained on the hazards of cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard.
  • Comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards on Bloodborne Pathogens, including proper disposal of regulated waste, and PPE.

Speaking of OSHA, it released a new workplace poster which highlights 10 infection protection measures every employer can implement to protect workers’ safety and health in response to COVID-19.  Employers may, but are not required, to hang this poster in a conspicuous place where other such employment notices are typically posted.

We wish you all safety and good health during these unprecedented times!