Healthcare, legal, government, manufacturing, construction, retail — no matter what industry your business is a part of, your employees — and your customers — are your greatest assets.
With COVID-19 continuing to impact our economy and our lives, it’s more important than ever to provide the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep staff and visitors safe.
Of course, there are numerous industry-dependent workplace safety standards businesses must follow as well. These are found through the governing association or licensing body for your industry.
For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also publishes a list of standards that govern maritime, general industry, and construction that can serve as guidelines.
For general industry, these guidelines cover the following:
- Eye and face protection
- Respiratory protection
- Head protection
- Foot protection
- Hand protection
- Electrical protective equipment
- Personal fall protection
For a return to business during COVID-19, the most important PPE will center on the eye, face, hand, and respiratory protection.
Remember, OSHA requires that the employer take on the burden of protecting workers from hazards in the workplace that may cause illness or injury, such as the COVID virus. Below, we’ve curated a few checklists to help you get your business ready for operation — safely.
The OSHA PPE Checklists for Business Owners
There are both worker and employer obligations when it comes to PPE. Let’s begin with employer obligations:
- You must perform a workplace hazard assessment to pinpoint and control physical and health hazards
- Then, employers must identify and provide the right PPE for staff
- You must train staff in the use and care of the PPE
- You must maintain PPE, replacing it when worn or damaged
- You must review, update, and evaluate the effectiveness of your PPE program regularly
Of course, employees have obligations, too:
- They must wear their PPE properly
- They must attend training sessions on PPE use and care
- They must care for and maintain their PPE
- They must inform a supervisor if their PPE is damaged
OSHA has also created interim guidance for businesses on gathering PPE ensembles, as noted below:
The OSHA PPE Equipment Considerations Checklist for PPE
This checklist gives some guidance for specific uses of PPE:
- PPE should be selected based on the employee’s specific duties
- If disposable gloves are needed, workers should use nitrile exam gloves, changing them if they are torn or contaminated
- Eye protection should be provided with goggles or face shields; personal eyeglasses are not adequate
- Any respirators used should meet OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard; surgical masks are not able to substitute for respirators
- In case of a PPE shortage, priority should be given to workers in high-hazard areas
- After PPE is removed, workers should wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
- Contaminated PPE should be cared for using the Bloodborne Pathogens standard
For worker groups across industries, see OSHA’s COVID-19 page that provides links at the bottom to specific guidelines for various industries.
RJ Young Can Help Provide PPE for Your Business
At RJ Young, we understand how difficult it can be to source common PPE such as face masks and hand sanitizer. As the COVID-19 crisis began, even emergency medical workers found these items to be in short supply.
As we, and our clients, move forward through this crisis, we’ve sourced several kinds of commonly needed PPE that, in most cases, can be shipped to your door within three to five days.
We provide 3-ply disposable face masks with adjustable nose strips and elastic loops that offer 99% bacterial filtration efficiency and breathable filtration. For those who want to brand their face masks, our washable, breathable dual or triple layer cotton masks are the ticket, shipping in 7 to 10 business days.
Finally, we have a hand sanitizer that’s 80% ethyl alcohol to use when soap and water just aren’t available or logical. No matter what industry you’re a part of, you’ll be needing these basic PPE supplies to keep your staff protected while they’re at work.
Need masks or sanitizer for your employees or customers? Touch base with an RJ Young consultant and get the PPE you need delivered right to your door.