Dr. Neitzel sat down to chat with Population Healthy about the risk and approaches necessary to reopen and return to work. Listen to “Returning to Work Safely in Michigan and across the US 5.15.20” on Spreaker.
The hierarchical of controls are central to industrial hygiene and workplace safety. This same approach is being used to mitigate the risk to COVID-19. The elimination methods for COVID-19 are the development of a vaccine or herd immunity. Engineering controls are already evident in essential businesses and will need to be implemented into businesses as they reopen in a context specific manner. These include things like; physical barriers between people, established distance marker, and changes to ventilation. Administrative controls will be important as well moving forward. These include things like social distancing and shift or work day alterations. The final level of protection, personal protective equipment (PPE), is still important. PPE against COVID-19 can include masks and gloves.
Plenty of workplace factors contribute to the risk of infection from COVID-19. Based on several workplace factors such as interactions with the general public or coworkers, sharing of equipment, extensive travel, high personal density, indoor vs outdoor, access to hygiene facilities, etc. These factors were used to generate an algorithm to determine the level of risk associated with a given workplace and therefore guide the protocol for each industry to reopen.
If you are up for a longer session about returning to work with and after COVID-19, check out Dr. Neitzel’s appearance on an episode of Issues & Ales @ Home – Getting back to business safely in Michigan. Looks like he may have forgotten the Ales part of this episode!