OSHA Issues Social Distancing Guidelines for Employers

Dentistry Today


The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing steps employers can follow to implement social distancing in the workplace and to help protect from exposure to the coronavirus. Safety measures that employers can implement include:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Isolate any worker who begins to exhibit symptoms until they can either go home or leave to seek medical care.
  • Establish flexible worksites including telecommuting and flexible hours such as staggered shifts if feasible.
  • Stagger breaks and rearrange seating in common break areas to maintain physical distance between workers.
  • In areas where customers are present, mark six-foot distances with floor tape in areas where lines form, use curbside pickup, and limit the number of customers allowed at one time.
  • Move or reposition workstations to create more distance.
  • Install plexiglass partitions.
  • Encourage workers to bring any safety and health concerns to the employer’s attention.

The alert is available for download in English and Spanish. OSHA’s Publications webpage offers additional workplace safety information. OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and coronavirus webpage provide further information about how workers and employers can protect themselves and their workplaces during the pandemic.

Noting the importance of respirators in the safe practice of dentistry, OSHA additionally is offering:

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