OSHA Depiction of COVID Risk Categories
Just how far are we expected to go with our workplace protections to prevent the spread of COVID-19? OSHA expects us to have protective measures place. However, the extent of our preventive measures needs to be appropriate to match the assessed risks, not necessarily the best of the best practices available in all cases.
A little clarification on the categories in the Risk Pyramid:
- Very High Exposure Risk: Jobs with a very high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of SARS-CoV-2 during specific medical, postmortem, or laboratory procedures.
- High Exposure Risk: Jobs with a high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of SARS-CoV-2. Workers in this category include:
- Medium Exposure Risk: Jobs that require frequent/close contact with people who may be infected, but who are not known to have or suspected of having COVID-19.
- Lower Exposure Risk (Caution): Jobs that do not require contact with people known to be, or suspected of being, infected with SARS-CoV-2. Workers in this category have minimal occupational contact with the public and other coworkers
I'm personally relieved that my work and the work of most client companies' situations are mostly in the section with "Lower Exposure Risk". However, we may occasionally find ourselves in a "Medium Risk" situation, especially as managers in production plants.
Since our risk of exposures is not extreme, our preventive measures tend to be simple and inexpensive. However, there are many companies that have not put forth the effort to but very basic common controls in place in a consistent manner yet.
If your company has been lax on basic COVID-19 controls (or any other controls required by your county), I suggest you (more…)