Medical Partners

COVID-19 Protocols For Manufacturing

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have implemented guidelines with regards to protecting the health and safety of America's workers and workplaces during COVID-19. These are recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthy workplace.

No Wait Medical Partners focuses on the need to follow appropriate guidelines during work shifts and while at home.


Employer Responsibilities



Assess the hazards to which your workers may be exposed; evaluate the risk of exposure; and select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure.


1. Implementing Basic Infection Prevention Measures



-Hand Hygiene


  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol should be provided. Regular hand washing or using of alcohol-based hand rubs are necessary. Workers should always wash their hands when they are visibly soiled and after removing any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Provide resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene, including tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces. Post hand washing signs in restrooms. Ensure clean toilet and hand washing facilities. Clean and disinfect portable job site toilets regularly. Fill hand sanitizer dispensers regularly. Disinfect frequently touched items, including door pulls and toilet seats often.


-Respiratory Etiquette


  • The importance of covering coughs and sneezes should be emphasised. Employees should wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.


-Enhanced Sanitation


  • Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the environment. When tools or equipment must be shared, provide and instruct workers to use alcohol- based wipes to clean tools before and after use. When cleaning tools and equipment, employees should consult manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).


  • When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels from List N, or that have claims against emerging viral pathogens, or that have label claims against the coronavirus for cleaning frequently touched surfaces like tools, handles, and machines. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19, based on data for harder to kill viruses.


  • Develop a disinfection schedule or routine plan, especially for high contact areas like restrooms. Ensure sufficient stocks of cleaning and disinfecting supplies to accommodate ongoing cleaning and disinfection.

Donation

2. Physical Distancing



Have engineering measures (e.g. tape on floors/sidewalks, partitions, and signage on walls) to allow a 6-foot distance between employees and minimize face-to-face contact. If possible, use physical barriers (e.g. strip curtains, plexiglass) or other impermeable dividers to separate workers from each other.


Add spaced apart stations and stagger worker clock in/out times to reduce crowding in these areas. Consider implementing touch-free methods.


For employee spaces such as kitchens, break rooms, and offices, the number of people should be restricted so there can be a 6-foot distance between people. Stagger shifts if possible.

Cohorting (grouping together) workers is an option to alter scheduling and reduce virus spread by minimizing contact with different individuals outside of the cohort.

-Circulation


  • Ventilation such as air ducts and vents should be clean, free of mold, and operational. Increase outdoor air circulation by opening windows, doors, and using fans.


  • To reduce potential virus spread, personal cooling fans should be removed from the workplace. Minimize air from pedestal fans or hard-mounted fans blowing from one worker directly at another worker. Employers need to remain aware of, and take steps to prevent, heat hazards if fans are removed.

  • To minimize potential exposures, employers should consider consulting a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning engineer to ensure adequate ventilation in worker spaces.


-Carpooling Limits


  • If carpooling or using a company shuttle vehicle is a necessity for workers.


  • Limit the number of people per vehicle, which may require more vehicles.


  • After each carpool or shuttle trip disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g. door handles, handrails, seatbelt buckles).


  • Encourage employees in a shared van or car space to wear cloth masks and follow coughing and sneezing etiquette when in the vehicle.


  • Encourage employees to social distance as much as possible in the vehicle.


  • Encourage employees to perform hand hygiene before entering the vehicle and when arriving at the destination.


3. Training and Education of Staff



Provide workers with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviors (e.g., cough etiquette, proper hygiene practices, social distancing, PPE). Employees should be encouraged to wear cloth face coverings in the workplace, though cloth face coverings are not a substitute for PPE required for work related tasks. Visual demonstrations, either in-person or video, should be used to demonstrate putting on and taking off PPE without contaminating it.


A job hazard analysis should be conducted to help determine whether additional PPE is necessary to protect workers. OSHA's PPE standards (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I) requires using gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection. It is important for PPE to be properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment.


N95 filtering facepiece respirators may be necessary for workers performing screening duties and are necessary for workers managing a sick employee in the work environment if that employee has signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If respirators are needed, they must be used in accordance with OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134) that includes medical exams, fit testing, and training.


When PPE is needed, employers should consider additional hazards created by poorly fitting PPE interacting with the work environment.


Train workers who need to use protecting clothing and equipment, and on how to put it on, use/wear it, and take it off correctly, within the context of their current and potential duties. Training material should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.


Workers should be trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 with an explanation of how the disease is potentially spread, including the fact that infected people can spread the virus even if they do not have symptoms.


Emphasis should be placed on the need for workers to report any safety and health concerns.


Post signs that are easily readable from a far distance and inform workers and visitors of social distance practices.


Place simple posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and proper hand hygiene practices in all languages common in the worker population. CDC has 'posters' available for download. Posters should be posted where they are likely to be seen (e.g. entrance to the workplace, break areas, locker rooms). For workers who cannot read written materials or who require other reasonable accommodations, alternative training should be provided.


4. Support for Employees



Mental health support should be provided to all workers, including access to an employee assistance program (EAP) if available. Emergency communications plans should be developed, including a forum for answering workers' concerns and internet-based communications, if feasible.


No Wait Medical Partners is available to provide psychological supports, including mental health support, and psychoeducation.


5. Screening



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that employers conduct daily health checks, for example, symptom and/or temperature screening of employees before they enter the facility.


If implementing in-person health checks, they should be conducted safely and respectfully. Employers may use social distancing, barrier or partition controls, or PPE to protect the screener. N95 filtering facepiece respirators (or more protective) may be appropriate for workers performing screening duties.


Health checks should be conducted in a way that helps maintain social distancing guidelines, such as providing multiple screening entries into the building. Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure. No Wait Medical Partners ensures ongoing follow-up of employees sent home who may be at risk.


Confidentiality of the medical records should be maintained. To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, employee health screenings should be made as private as possible, and determinations of risk, should not be made based on race or country of origin.


Options to screen workers for COVID-19 symptoms include:


  • Screen them before they enter the worksite.


  • Verbally screen in appropriate languages to determine whether workers have had a fever, respiratory symptoms (e.g. coughing, shortness of breath) or other symptoms in the past 24 hours.


  • At the start of each shift, take the temperature of workers to identify anyone with a fever of 100.4 F or greater (or feelings of feverishness). Screeners should be are trained to use temperature monitors that are accurate under conditions of use and wear appropriate PPE.


  • Do not let employees enter the worksite if they have a fever of 100.4 F or greater (or feelings of feverishness), or if screening results indicate that they are suspected of having COVID-19.


6. Absenteeism



Employers should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.


Employees who have symptoms should notify their supervisor and be encouraged to stay home, and a note from their healthcare provider does not need to be provided in order to validate illness, or their ability to return to work. Sick leave policies should be flexible and consistent with public health guidance and with No Wait Medical Partners, and employees should be made aware of these policies. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with No Wait Medical Partners. Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting employees and customers at a restaurant or bar.


Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and consult with No Wait Medical Partners regarding the mandatory precautions. Policies should permit employees to stay home to care for sick family members, including sick children or children who are in schools or day care centers that have been closed, or who have immunocompromised family members, and are afraid to come to work because of fear of possible exposure. Workers' concerns about pay, leave, safety, health, and other issues that may arise during infectious disease outbreaks should be addressed, and employers are encouraged to work with insurance companies (e.g., those providing employee health benefits) and state and local health agencies to provide information to workers and customers about medical care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.


Prepare for increased absences and plan how to continue essential business functions with a reduced workforce (e.g. assessing necessary roles, cross-training workers to perform critical duties)


No Wait Medical Partners will provide daily follow up on employees who are self-isolating at home, and on what their expected return to work dates will be.

7. Contact Tracing and Tracking



No Wait Medical Partners enables safe and timely triage, testing, monitoring, contact tracking and containment of suspected or confirmed COVID 19 positive employees. No Wait Medical Partners contributes to limiting exposure and risk management and enables contact tracing for suspected COVID-19 positive employees.


8. Manufacturing/Poultry and Meat



Cloth face coverings are recommended as an addition to social distancing but are not a substitute for PPE.


Use List N for appropriate disinfectants. Workers who perform cleaning may require additional PPE.


Consider allowing voluntary use of filtering facepiece respirators (such as an N95, if available) for workers, even if respirators are not normally required.


9. Manufacturing/Poultry and Meat



Before entering offshore worksites, quarantine and self-monitor for 14 days. Consider providing paid leave to ensure adherence. Screen workers before they board the processing vessel.


Managing sick workers:


  • Onshore workers who report or have symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day, should be immediately separated from others at the worksite and sent home.


  • Offshore workers who report or have symptoms, should be immediately separated from others on the vessel. Vessel staff should evaluate potentially sick workers and discuss with applicable state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT), federal, and port authorities to ensure the safe disembarkation and medical transportation of the patient with suspected or known COVID-19.


  • Workers who live in employer-provided housing or shared living quarters may not be able to be sent safely home. An isolation plan should be developed for them to recuperate without infecting others (i.e. designate a private sleeping space). Consider establishing areas for sleep/rest that accommodate single occupancy and a separate bathroom (if available).


  • Ensure that vessels carry enough PPE and medical supplies while at sea.


  • If a worker is confirmed to have COVID-19, inform individuals that they have had contact with (including fellow workers, inspectors, graders, etc.) of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain the sick employee's confidentiality. Work with SLTT health officials to identify other exposed and potentially exposed individuals.


  • If a worker becomes or reports being sick, disinfect the workstation used and any tools or equipment handled by that worker.


On-site nurses, emergency medical technicians, and other healthcare personnel should follow CDC and OSHA guidelines for healthcare and emergency response personnel.


10. Critical Infrastructure



Meat and poultry processing facilities and seafood processing worksites are part of critical infrastructure within the Food and Agricultural Sector.


Following potential exposure to COVID-19, critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work at their regular duties if they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented, including continued screening for symptoms. If tested, their results must be negative for them to continue working.


If the worker has had a potential exposure:


  • Pre-Screen: Before starting work and ideally before entering the facility; employers should measure the employee's temperature and assess symptoms.


  • Regular Monitoring: Employees should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer's occupational health program. If an employee becomes sick during the day, send them home immediately.


  • Wear a Mask: The employee should always wear a face mask while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. In the event of shortages, employers can approve of employee supplied cloth face masks. Test the use of face masks to ensure they do not interfere with workflow.


  • Social Distance: The employee practice social distancing (i.e. keep 6-foot distance) as work duties permit in the workplace.


  • Disinfect and Clean workspaces: Increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces.


Guidelines for Employees



The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have implemented guidelines on how employees can protect themselves and their co-workers from COVID-19. Employees are encouraged to forward any questions or concerns that they may have to No Wait Medical Partners.


Protecting Yourself and Others



-Hand Hygiene


  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if soap and water are not immediately available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rubbing hands until they are dry. Avoid touching your face.


COVID-19 Guidlines

Click here to watch the video


-Coughing/Sneezing


  • Follow the proper guidelines for covering coughs and sneezing (i.e., sneezing or coughing into a tissue or into the upper sleeve). Always wear a face mask while in the workplace, and the mask should cover your nose and mouth. Learn how to properly put on, use/wear, and take off protective clothing and equipment.


If possible, wear cloth face coverings protect others in case the wearer is unknowingly infected.


-Social Distancing


  • Maintain 6 feet of social distancing as work duties permit, and avoid physical contact with others, including other employees, contractors, and visitors.


  • Use alternatives ways to shake hands upon entry, and it is important to not touch your face (i.e., mouth, nose, eyes).


  • Drive to work sites or parking areas individually, when possible, an avoid having passengers or carpools.


-Working


  • Clean and disinfect all shared areas and equipment routinely, using alcohol-based wipes to clean tools before and after use.


Critical infrastructure work role



Following potential exposure to COVID-19, critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work at their regular duties if they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented, including continued screening for symptoms. If tested, their results must be negative for them to continue working.


Potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, including the 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.


After potential exposure:


  • Take your temperature before work (should be under 100.4 F or 38 C).


  • Always wear a face mask.


  • Stay 6-feet apart from others in the workplace as work duties permit.


  • Stay home if you are sick.


  • Do not share objects (e.g. headsets) used near face.


  • Do not get together in the break room or other crowded places.


What should I do if I become ill?



Notify your supervisor and No Wait Medical Partners immediately, complete the self-assessment (self-checker).


Resources for Employers and Employees



Below are some resources on government approved guidelines around proper hygiene and cleaning practices, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19.


Resources:

Inforgraphic for manufacturing employees (CDC guidelines)


Infographic for manufacturing facilities (CDC guidelines)


Manufacturing (CDC guidelines)


NAM guidelines (April 10)


Poultry and meat manufacturing (CDC guidelines)

Poultry and meat manufacturing infographic (CDC guidelines)


Seafood manufacturing (CDC guidelines)


Workplaces (CDC guidelines)