Coronavirus in the USA: what I need to know as an EHS manager

Each state in the USA is taking a different approach to the Coronavirus based on density of population, infection rates, and local policies. Today, we’ll outline 10 practical steps you can take, based on a variety of requirements across the USA and best practices.

It is a strange time. No one expected that we would encounter a global pandemicWith your training as aEnvironmental, Health & Safety (EHS) manager you are well prepared to take on this challenge. If you are a higher level corporate EHS Manager for a global company, then you can use the below information as a checklist tgo over with your regional managers. If you are a regional manager, you can confirm that best practices are implemented in the worksites that you oversee, and if you are a site manager, then you can execute on the below suggestions. 

Coranavirus in the USA: EHS Requirements

Each state in the USA is taking a different approach to the Coronavirus based on density of population, infection rates, and local policies. As you develop your approach to the Coronavirus, consider reading through the updates in our COVID-19 Updates. You should always, of course, comply with the mandatory requirements for your jurisdictions, but you can also implement restrictions and policies that go beyond what is required for your location. Learn about what is required in other states, research best practices from large corporations, and come up with your list of action items to implement.

Coronavirus in the USA: 10 practical steps

Below are 10 practical steps you can take, based on a variety of requirements across the USA and best practices: 

  • Determine the exposure risk level for each of the various hazards or tasks performed at its workplace (as is required in Virginia)
  • Comply with the applicable physical space setup guidelines, such as by rearranging office seating and desks to maintain 6 feet of distance between employees (as required in Connecticut)
  • Require employees, customers, and visitors on-site to wear face masks or other cloth face coverings (as required in Connecticut) 
  • Operate at no more than 50 percent of the total listed occupancy and practice social distancing (as required in Texas) 
  • If you own or operate any food establishment, ensure that no food or beverage is served for on premises consumption (as required in California)
  • Clearly display a sign at all points of entry stating: “Mask or face covering use required for ages five and older.” (as required in Montana)
  • Ensure that any work that is capable of being performed remotely is performed remotely (as required in Michigan)
  • Develop a cleaning and disinfecting plan according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance
  • Set up a Coronavirus task force within the company to track compliance with requirements.
  • Create “in” and “out” lanes and “marks” on the ground for social distancing. 

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