ALERT | VOSHA, Department of Health Release Required Training for Vermonters to Return to Work; Employers Urged to Review and Provide Feedback

Following up on the VOSHA-provided training requirements included in Governor Scott’s updated directives Friday for initial reopening criteria for manufacturers and other businesses, VOSHA has developed training and other materials on appropriate safety measures necessary to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  These training and other materials were developed in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

As reported previously, on Friday the Governor announced additional conditions for initial resumption of operations for manufacturers and other businesses not currently operating as a critical/essential business.  These next steps toward broader resumption of operations are extremely modest, and employers should review the criteria provided very carefully.  The new guidance can be reviewed by clicking here.  You should also review the updated sector by sector guidance, which has some additional detail (click here).

As included in the updated requirements for all operating businesses, including critical/essential businesses: 

All employees, including those already working (except healthcare workers, first responders, and others already trained in infection control, personal protection/universal precautions), must complete, and employers must document, a training on mandatory health and safety requirements as provided by VOSHA, or another training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard by May 4, 2020. 

New Training Requirements

All businesses and non-profit and government entities in operation must complete and document the mandatory health and safety training outlined and linked below by May 4, 2020.

All employers must provide training and details of standard operating procedures to their employees. Training developed by VOSHA includes:

  • The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and an explanation of how the disease is spread;
  • Information on appropriate social distancing and personal hygiene practices, including those set forth in Addendum 11 and other applicable guidance; and
  • The types, proper use, limitations, location, handling, decontamination, removal, and disposal of any PPE being used.

Under the recent order, employers may choose to adopt an additional training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard, or additional policies and procedures that are applicable to the employment environment and employees’ duties, but these cannot be less restrictive than those developed by VOSHA.

Training materials can be accessed on the Department of Labor’s website or downloaded and printed. Once training is completed, a certificate of completion will be made available to keep for the individual’s records. To document compliance, employers will be asked to keep record of all employee certificates.

Training materials can be found by visiting https://labor.vermont.gov/VOSHA

Review and Feedback Urged

AIV urges all employers, especially those currently operating and considering resuming operations under the most recent criteria, to review the training information above and provide us with any feedback regarding questions, concerns, and recommendations.  AIV will work to address any questions or concerns employers have, and will share recommendations with the state and the business community as appropriate.  We will also be seeking clarification and confirmation of existing training that satisfies the “others already trained in infection control, personal protection/universal precautions” exemption.  Provide any feedback for us at info@aivt.org.

It will also be helpful if you complete and submit the survey below, with a particular focus on any resumption of operations issues (if you have completed the survey in the past and have more to add, please do so).

Survey of COVID-19 Impacts, Needs, Questions, and Recommendations