The new coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, spreads from person to person through saliva droplets ejected by coughing, sneezing, and talking, according to the latest CDC findings.
The virus can also be spread by contacting a contaminated surface or object and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an updated guide for workplaces and employees to avoid exposure to the virus.
This is the information from the OSHA headquarters in the tri-state area:
Region 1- Boston Regional Office
(CT *, ME *, MA, NH, RI, VT *)
JFK Federal Building
25 New Sudbury Street, Room E340
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-9860 (617) 565-9827 Fax
Region 2- New York Regional Office
(NJ *, NY *, PR *, VI *)
201 Varick Street, Room 670
New York, NY 10014
(212) 337-2378 (212) 337-2371 Fax
FILE COMPLAINTS WITHOUT WANTING TO PAY DAYS OF ILLNESS
While OSHA ensures that workplaces are safe, it is the Department of Labor and state attorneys general that enforce sick day pay.
You can file a complaint for any of the following reasons:
- If you are forced to work in a non-essential business.
- You work in an essential business, but do not perform essential functions.
- Your employer requires you to report to the place of employment when your job can be done from home.
- Your employer does not follow health and safety requirements
- You fear because you are over 70 and / or have an underlying disease.
- Your employer has not paid you wages due for hours worked, sick leave, or time off.
- Your employer threatens or has already fired you for reasons related to COVID-19.
- You meet the requirements for COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave and your employer refuses to pay it
- His employer forces him to work while he is sick.
HERE you will find the form of the State Attorney to file a complaint for non-payment of sick days or any other related work matter.
You can also call 311 or visit the website of the work Department in Spanish for more information.
HERE you will find the guide of sick days paid in Spanish.
In this link you will find the form in Spanish for unpaid wages.
You can send it by post to
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Division of Wage and Hour Compliance
P.O. Box 389
Trenton, NJ 08625-0389
Or by fax to (609) 695-1174.
You can also submit it online HERE.
For more information in Spanish open here
You can file a complaint in Spanish and online HERE.
HERE You will find the guide in Spanish on paid sick days.
You can also call the Wage and Workplace Standards Division at (860) 263-6790 or the Program Policy Office at (860) 263-6755.
Employers of workers at increased risk of contagion should follow the following preventive measures, OSHA requires:
- Assess the hazards to which workers may be exposed.
- Assess the risk of exposure.
- Select, implement, and ensure workers are taking protective measures to prevent exposure, including the use of physical barriers (face masks, latex gloves, face shield, coveralls) to stop the spread of
- Limiting social contact and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment are required.
OSHA requires workplaces:
- Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
- Require workers to cover themselves when coughing or sneezing.
- Provide a place to wash hands as well as hand wipes containing
- minus 60% alcohol.
- Limit access to the workplace to only essential personnel, if possible.
- Establish flexibility for the workplace (work from home) and the
- working hours (staggered work shifts) as soon as possible.
- Discourage workers from using phones, desks, or other
- tools and work equipment of your colleagues.
- Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces, equipment and other items in the work environment.
- Using cleaning chemicals with disinfectant labels approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the use of all cleaning and disinfection products.
- Encourage workers to voice any concerns about occupational safety and health.
FOLLOW EXISTING OSHA STANDARDS
Although there is no OSHA standard that specifically covers exposure to SARS-CoV-2, some requirements may apply to prevent exposure in the workplace. Among the most relevant are:
- OSHA standards for respiratory protective equipment (PPE) (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I), which require the use of gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
- When masks are necessary to protect workers or when employers require their use, employers must implement a comprehensive protection program in accordance with the respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). MORE HERE.
- The General Duty Clause, Section 5 (a) (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 USC 654 (a) (1), requires employers to provide every worker with “a job and workplace that is free from recognized risks that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. ” COMPLETE INFORMATION HERE.
CLASSIFYING WORKERS ‘EXPOSURE TO SARS-COV-2
Workers’ risk from occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, during an outbreak could range from very high risk to high, medium, or low (precautionary) risk. The level of risk depends in part on the type of industry, the need for contact with less than 6 feet of people known or suspected to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, or the requirement for repeated or prolonged contact with people. known or suspected to be infected with SARS-CoV-2.
To help employers determine appropriate precautions, OSHA has divided job duties into four levels of risk exposure: very high, high, medium, and low.
The Occupational Risk Pyramid displays the four levels of risk exposure in the form of a pyramid to represent the likely distribution of risk. Most American workers are likely to be at low (precautionary) or medium exposure risk levels. MORE INFORMATION HERE.