top of page

Recent Posts



OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

The Occupational Safety Health Administration has published a Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. The guidance focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE). OSHA authored this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices.

A few highlighted points we’d like to share from the guidance document include implementing workplace controls and engineering controls.

Implement Workplace Controls

Occupational safety and health professionals use a framework called the “hierarchy of controls” to select ways of controlling workplace hazards. According to OSHA, the “best way to control a hazard is to systematically remove it from the workplace, rather than relying on workers to reduce their exposure.”

The guidance document states that during a COVID-19 outbreak, when it may not be possible to eliminate the hazard, the most effective protection measures are (listed from most effective to least effective):

  • Engineering controls,

  • Administrative controls,

  • Safe work practices (a type of administrative control), and

  • PPE

Each control measure has advantages and disadvantages when considering the ease of implementation, effectiveness, and cost. A combination of control measures for most cases will be necessary to protect workers from exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls involve isolating employees from work-related hazards. In workplaces where they are appropriate, these types of controls reduce exposure to hazards without relying on worker behavior and can be the most cost-effective solution to implement. Engineering controls for SARS-CoV-2 include:

■ Installing high-efficiency air filters.

■ Increasing ventilation rates in the work environment.

■ Installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards.

CFR Environmental works with industry to serve as their in-house environmental, health and safety (EHS) consultant. Contact CFR to learn more about how we can help meet your OSHA obligations and assist your company with workplace health and safety.

bottom of page