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Illinois Attorney Addresses OSHA’s COVID-19 Safe Employee Practices

As employers prepare to re-open business following the state mandated “shelter in place” orders that exist during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has put forth a series of guidelines.

In Alan Bernover’s recent Litchfield Alert, “OSHA Outlines Employer Guidelines for Safe COVID-19 Practices” he reviews guidelines set forth to help employers prepare their places of business for a safe environment for their employees where they can continue production in a healthy manner to reduce the spread of exposure to the coronavirus. To read Alan’s Litchfield Alert, click here

Alan includes a series of steps employers should employ to maximize employee performance and minimize the possibility of outbreaks of COVID-19 in their workplace. This includes creating a solid infectious disease preparedness and response plan, preparing basic anti-infection measures, procedures to promptly identify and isolation sick employees, and supplying employees with appropriate personal protective equipment, now widely known such PPE. He also discusses OSHA’s four categories of COVID-19 worker exposure hazards and workplace controls that employers can implement such as engineering and administrative, safety practices and PPE to determine the level exposure a given worker is subject to given their regularly assigned job performance.

Alan acknowledges the various guidelines identified by OSHA are both intuitive but often difficult, as well as costly to implement such as install air ventilation systems, negative air pressure systems for employees in the top three exposure groups. Moreover, as these OSHA guidelines are not codified regulations or requirements, are employers leaving themselves open to future liabilities if they are unable or unwilling to implement guidelines?

The immediate influx of coronavirus-related litigation, including suite by infected employees against employers, it is conceivable that employers could face liability actions.

Litchfield Cavo attorneys are continuously monitoring the complexities of COVID-19 and is ready to assist on this and all coronavirus-related legal matters. To discuss how OSHA guidelines may impact your claims, please contact Alan Bernover, and please visit LitchfieldCavo.com/COVID-19.

Alan Bernover focuses his practice on insurance defense litigation in the areas of construction negligence, catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death, and commercial litigation relating to labor and employment disputes. He also has experience in executive and employers’ liability defense, professional malpractice, products liability, trucking liability, general liability, and general corporate and business defense.