The Food and Drug Administration encourages and outlines major steps to be taken as per the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to help prevent and slow the COVID-19 and support continuity of essential operations if workers are diagnosed or exposed to the disease.
Even before a worker has been expose to the disease, employers should conduct worksite assessments to identify risks and prevention strategies. This can be done by
- Assigning responsibility to a qualified workplace coordinator, who will be responsible to develop plans for implementing infection control procedures.
- Training all workers on basic infection control information in language and at a literacy level they understand.
Good General Practice
In order to comply with the CDC recommendations, general good practice measures can be taken by:
- Encouraging employers to use an employer approved face mask or face cloth always in the workplace.
- Making sure that all employers practice social distancing.
- Employers should facilitate equipment’s for hand washing.
- Ensuring all workplace stations are cleaned frequently.
Precautions recommended by CDC to be taken to continue operations after workers have symptoms or have been diagnosed by COVID-19: sick patients should go home if they develop symptoms during workday and should notify their supervisor. Workers should follow the CDC-recommended steps and not return to work until they meet all the criteria under CDC recommendation to end home isolation.
Employer Recommended Steps
Employers should take the following steps:
- Close the areas used by the sick person
- Wait for at least 24 hours to clean or disinfect the workplace areas.
- Open doors and windows to increase air circulation in the exposed area.
- Have information about the worker’s contacted co-worker 2 days prior the onset of the symptoms.
- Inform fellow workers of a confirmed case (if any) and their possibility of getting infected but as per the American Disabilities Act, maintain confidentiality.
In case a worker has been exposed with an infected worker but is asymptomatic (symptom-free), CDC advises to follow CDC guidance for “Implementing safety practiced for critical infrastructure workers who may had exposure to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case is identified”. Employers should also check temperatures and assess symptoms of workers, ideally before entering the workplace. If a person does not have symptoms, all workers should self-monitor themselves while working and take necessary precautions if symptoms appear.
In case a food supply or food workers are exposed to the disease, CDC says it food remains safe for both people and animals. There is no evidence that the virus is transmitted through food or food packaging irrespective of the exposure of a worker in a plant.
About Global Regulatory Partners
Global Regulatory Partners Inc, (GRP) is an American company that provides regulatory affairs, clinical, quality and safety services to medical devices and pharmaceutical companies globally. GRP headquarters is located in Massachusetts USA and its main affiliates are located in China, Japan, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. GRP helps many life science companies register their products in different countries in compliance with local regulations. To learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org