Bakida Ep. #8 - Executive Orders: protect worker health & safety from COVID-19; Mask mandate.

Thanks for joining us last week where we discussed new CDC requirements for COVID-19 test for passengers on airline flights entering the U.S.. The order goes into effect on January 26th and requires passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test 3 days before departing on their flight to the U.S. and they need to retain written documentation of their negative test result.

We also discussed new recycling efforts geared towards the recycling of Wind Turbines and efforts to make a renewable energy source more green. Historically, 90% of each turbine could be recycled, but the largest parts which were the turbine blades themselves, have been landfilled. These blades can take up to 30-50 cubic yards of landfill space each. GE Renewable Energy in multi-year agreement with Veolia North America, are using the discarded blades in the production of cement in an effort to reuse the material coming from the blades and keep it out of landfills.

In Episode 8, Kendra and Barton reviewed some of the new Executive Orders signed by the Biden administration that layout plans protect workers health & safety from the COVID-19 and mandating mask wearing in all federal buildings and on public lands.


OSHA Tips of the Week

Video trainings and remote learning offer a good option for employees and employers to ensure that workers are getting the necessary training while observing social distancing and other mitigation effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Make sure that everyone is on the same page. As you develop and update protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, make sure that you are communicating your efforts and expectations.

Awareness of slip, trip and fall hazards is key to prevention of injuries. Always maintain 3 points of contact when you are on a ladder and ensure that you remove wet surfaces to prevent slipping while in use.

You need to follow social distancing recommendations even in vehicles. Being in an enclosed area make it a challenge to observe physical distancing recommendations. Limit the number of people in the vehicle, roll the windows down and make sure that you are wearing face coverings.

Everyone needs to be involved with protecting worker safety. Employees themselves need to feel comfortable about identifying and communicating potential safety risks. Leadership and supervisors need to encourage reporting of potential safety risks...a workplace injury is much more costly than stopping and correcting a potential safety risk.


Executive Order mandating mask wearing in all federal buildings and on public lands

The Biden Administration Executive Order on January 20th requires mask wearing in federal buildings and on public lands and requiring all federal employees and contractors to wear masks while on duty. The order also instructs federal personnel to maintain social distancing and comply with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order also creates a Safer Federal Workforce Task Force to provide guidance on issues that include air filtration, COVID-19 testing methods, and infection control measures.

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Executive Order to protect worker health and safety from COVID-19

The Order is designated to Protect Workers from COVID-19 Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Ensuring the health and safety of workers is a national priority and a moral imperative. Healthcare workers and other essential workers, many of whom are people of color and immigrants, have put their lives on the line during the coronavirus disease 2019.

As part of the Executive Order the Federal Government is required to take swift action to reduce the risk of workers contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. The order aims to achieve these goals with the following objectives.

  • require issuing science-based guidance

  • mask-wearing

  • partnering with State and local governments

  • enforcing worker health and safety requirements

  • pushing for additional resources to help employers protect employees

OSHA will review enforcement efforts and identify changes that could further protect workers. They will also launch a national program to focus OSHA enforcement efforts related to COVID-19 on violations that put the largest number of workers at serious risk and establish a multilingual outreach campaign to inform workers and their representatives of their rights under applicable law.

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This podcast episode was recorded on January 24, 2020.

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