Following the initial release of new operational and restarting guidance for manufacturers and other businesses Friday and subsequently the VOSHA training documents, ACCD and VOSHA have responded to input from AIV and other business stakeholders to address modifications and clarifications ahead of more substantial updates expected in the coming days and weeks.
To review the full guidance, click here for the overview from ACCD and click here for more complete sector-by-sector guidance. And you can click here for the mandatory VOSHA training, which is required as of May 4.
Of particular note for all businesses, including currently operating critical/essential businesses as well as other businesses looking to resume operations, is the clarifications that breakrooms do not have to be categorically closed as long as use is needed and in compliance with key CDC and OSHA guidance. The ACCD guidance has been updated accordingly:
No congregation of employees is allowed. The employer shall limit the occupancy of the designated common areas, such as break rooms and cafeterias, so that occupants maintain strict social distancing of no less than 6 feet per individual. The employer shall enforce the occupancy limit and require employees to wipe down their area after use or shall ensure cleaning of the common areas at regular intervals throughout the day.
For newly reopening, non-critical/essential businesses, the quarantining of out of state workers has been clarified to exempt daily commuters for businesses reopening under the new guidelines, as is currently the case for out of state employees of critical/essential businesses:
At this stage workers coming into Vermont from out-of-state must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival if they will be staying overnight. Lodging is not available for non-essential out-of-state workers. Workers may commute to an essential job in Vermont or commute to a job in compliance with the Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance without quarantining, though they should commute directly to and from their work site.
[NOTE: We have heard word that the commuter guidance highlighted above might be revised again in the near future, possibly to make it more restrictive. Please watch for updates, and if you have employees who could be impacted, please contact us at email@example.com]
It is also important for employers to be aware that, although taking employees’ temperatures as part of pre-shift screenings currently falls under “if feasible” guidance, there is a real possibility that this could become fully mandatory, and they should make every effort to acquire thermometers to comply with this in the even that it does. As a reminder, the relevant guidance for all operating companies currently is:
To the extent feasible, prior to the commencement of each work shift, pre-screening or survey shall be required to verify each employee has no symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath), including temperature checks.
Again, all employers should review these guidelines and the VOSHA training. For those currently operating or planning on resuming operations under the guidance, we strongly encourage you to share any questions, concerns, and recommendations regarding either the criteria or the training. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.