OSHA and CDC Publish Interim COVID-19 Guidance to Seafood Processing Industry

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), released important information for seafood processing employers and workers.

Processing stations in busy facilities may cause workers to have close contact with each other. This coronavirus-related guidance recommends actions that employers should take to reduce exposure.

The actions include:

  • Modify alignment of workstations, so that team members are at least 6’ apart in all directions
  • Stagger workers across shifts to limit the number of people on-site at one time
  • Reduce crowding in common areas by implementing additional clock-in/out stations, restrooms, and breakrooms or vary times for workers to be in these spaces
  • Analyze sick leave and incentive program policies to ensure that ill workers stay home and are not penalized for taking sick leave if they have the coronavirus
  • Screen and monitor employees and create a system for them to alert their supervisors if they have signs or symptoms of the coronavirus or had recent close contact with a suspected or confirmed case

“It’s imperative that workers in the seafood processing industry are protected from coronavirus exposure in the workplace,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “OSHA collaborated with the CDC and FDA to provide this guidance, which outlines steps employers can take to provide a safe and healthful workplace for workers in this vital industry.”

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