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Coronavirus News Hub For EHS Pros

Posted on November 23, 2020 by Lion Technology Inc.

Lion tracks COVID-19 updates and guidance from Federal environmental, safety, and hazardous materials agencies. 

Have specific questions? Check out our Coronavirus Q&A, where Senior Instructor Scott D answers your most frequently asked questions.

Make informed decisions for how to ensure the safety and well being of your team. Click here to download two free coronavirus resources: COVID-19 & Workplace Safety Guide and a recording of the latest Coronavirus and the Workplace webinar. 

More states are considering COVID-19 safety guidance, policies, executive orders every day. Check out our list of Coronavirus Training Requirements by State that employers and employees must follow to be in compliance with new and changing safety standards in your state.

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Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
United States Postal Service (USPS)
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA


Occupational Safety & Health Administration

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11/10/2020
Report: COVID-19 Enforcement By the Numbers

We dissect OSHA's first OSHA COVID-19 enforcement actions to show which specific OSHA Standards inspectors are citing during novel coronavirus-related inspections. 


11/09/2020
Maryland Occupational Safety Agency Accused of COVID-19 Missteps

A public interest law firm, Public Justice Center, is calling for an investigation at Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH). The law firm accuses MOSH of failing to follow its own policies and procedures for investigating health and safety complaints during the coronavirus pandemic.


11/05/2020
COVID-19 Workplace Ventilation Guidance for HVAC Professionals

OSHA released guidance for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professionals on how to optimize building ventilation to reduce the risk of employee exposure to the coronavirus. More OSHA COVID-19 safety alerts. 


10/19/2020
N95 Mask Effectiveness Added to COVID-19 Q&A

Will an N95 respirator protect the wearer from the virus that causes COVID-19? OSHA addresses this question in their latest FAQ, backed by the latest scientific data to help inform employers and employees alike.


10/12/2020
Clarification of COVID-19 Reporting Requirements for Employers

OSHA added three answers to its COVID-19 FAQ page to clarify the reporting requirements for work-related cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization. "..to be reportable," the new guidance reads, "an in-patient hospitalization due to COVID-19 must occur with 24 hours of an exposure to SARS-CoV-2 at work." 
 

10/8/2020
Temporary Guidance on Tight-fitting Powered Air Purifying Respirators

On October 2, OSHA issued temporary guidance on the use of tight-fitting powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) during the COVID-19 global health emergency.



9/28/20
Cal/OSHA Issues 11 Citations for COVID-19 Workplace Safety Violations

Earlier this month, Cal/OSHA issued another round of citations to employers in the Golden State who allegedly failed to meet State standards to protect their workers from hazards related to coronavirus.



9/18/20
Three Recent COVID-19 Safety Enforcement Actions by OSHA & Cal/OSHA

OSHA recently announced enforcement actions against two meat packing facilities related to COVID-19 workplace safety. Cal/OSHA also announced citations against a frozen food manufacturer in the Golden State for COVID-19 workplace safety violations.



8/25/20
Amid COVID-19 Whistleblower Complaints, OIG Makes OSHA Recommendations

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General  has concluded that OSHA must improve its Whistleblower Protection Program after an audit report revealed the agency failed to respond to complaints in a timely manner.



8/13/20
COVID-19 Training Requirements by State

In the absence of a single Federal standard for COVID-19 training, state safety agencies, legislatures, and governors’ offices have released regulations, policies, and guidance that require employers to provide employee training on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and how to prevent workplace exposure.



7/27/20
UPDATE: First State Coronavirus Workplace Safety Regs Passed in Virginia

On July 15, the Virginia Safety and Health Code Board passed the Emergency Temporary Standard, Infectious Disease Prevention, to take effect July 27, 2020. Virginia employers have 30 days to "provide all employees with job-specific COVID-19 education and training."



6/25/20
OSHA Issues Coronavirus Guidance for Specific Industries

To ensure facilities and employees can return to work safely after COVID-19, OSHA issued a series of guidance memos tailored towards specific industries, such as manufacturing, meat processing, logistics, and construction.


6/24/20
Guidance on Returning Work

OSHA recently published a guide for businesses on how to reopen safely through a gradual, step by step process. The document also includes a chart of safety regulations, so employers can easily find which OSHA regulations apply to which scenario.
 

6/10/20
Q&A: Face Coverings, Surgical Masks and Respirators in the Workplace

To address the growing concerns of businesses and consumers, OSHA released a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding cloth face coverings, respirators, and surgical masks. The goal is to ensure these masks are used correctly and for the appropriate situations.


6/9/20
Return to Work: Recommendations to Keep Employees Safe

On May 28, OSHA issued guidance to help employers ensure safe social distancing as many workers across the US return to work. The alert details a variety of ways managers and safety officers can implement social distancing to prevent coronavirus spread.


6/1/20
How to Safely Disinfect Your Workplace: HazCom Considerations

As states begin reopening, many facilities will need to rethink how to disinfect the workplace to protect employees from COVID-19 and comply with Federal guidelines. However, these changes may require new or revised OSHA hazard communication strategies, depending on which cleaning agents are being used.


5/19/20
OSHA Updates COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance

OSHA released revised guidance concerning workplace safety compliance during the COVID-19 public health emergency. OSHA also updated their policy for recording workplace cases of COVID-19. 


5/12/20
OSHA Investigates Nearly 200 Coronavirus Workplace Safety Claims

OSHA launched 192 coronavirus-related workplace safety investigations between February 19 and April 23 to determine whether employers failed to adequately protect their workers. This is the culmination of thousands of complaints fielded by investigators since January relating to the pandemic.


5/4/20

UPDATE: OSHA's Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure

UPDATE: OSHA issues the poster "Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus" in EnglishSpanish, and 11 other languages


5/4/20
How to Spot a Counterfeit Respirator

Due to the national respirator shortage, some companies are seeking less conventional marketplaces with the hope of keeping their essential staff and employees safe. But don’t be fooled! Many counterfeit masks appear strikingly similar to their approved counterpart. Here’s how to tell the difference.
 

4/24/20
Enforcement Guidance on Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs)

Due to limited supplies of FFRs, employers should reassess their engineering controls, work practices, and administrative controls to identify any changes they can make to decrease the need for respirators. If respiratory protection must be used, NIOSH has identified limited available research that suggests several methods offer the most promise for decontaminating FFRs.


4/16/20
Discretion in OSHA Enforcement During COVID-19

OSHA released a memo stating that the Agency will consider an employer’s “good-faith efforts” prior to any enforcement action in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic.


4/13/20
Is COVID-19 a Recordable Illness Under 29 CFR 1904.7?

On April 10, 2020, OSHA issued interim guidance related to recording cases of COVID-19 that occur in the workplace. Normally, illnesses contracted in the workplace are recordable if they are new cases and result in medical treatment beyond first aid, days away from work, or other criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7.  


4/6/20
OSHA Issues Guidance Amid N95 Respirator Shortage

In an enforcement guidance memo directed to its officers, OSHA recommends that employers facing a shortage of N95 filtering facepiece respirators, or FFRs, do the following... 


3/17/20
New OSHA Memo on COVID-19 and N95 Respirators

Fearing a supply shortage of N95 filtering facepiece respirators due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, OSHA issued temporary enforcement guidance related to the Respiratory Protection Standard at 29 CFR 1910.134.   
 

3/12/20
OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

OSHA issues a new coronavirus alert and guidance for employers. 
 

3/2/20
Coronavirus: Preventing Workplace Exposure

OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released guidance for employers regarding the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. As US cases begin to make headlines, employers should take steps to prevent rapid transmission of the coronavirus. 


US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

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6/24/20
UPDATE: New PHMSA Hand Sanitizer Policy for Distilleries, Others

Update 06/24/20: PHMSA announced today an extension of temporary reliefs from the Hazardous Materials Regulations for ground shipments of hand sanitizer. The extension notice adds rail transportation as covered by the temporary, which previously applied to highway shipments only. Transport Canada released a similar temporary certificate.   



4/20/20
PHMSA Provides Partial Relief for Shipping Hand Sanitizers and Disinfectants by Ground

To make it easier for carriers to provide hand sanitizers and disinfectants to workers throughout the supply chain, PHMSA will provide relief for the transport of these items on a motor vehicle for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of employees and contractors who directly support a carrier’s logistical operations.


4/17/20
Signing Hazmat Shipping Papers in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Unless you’re Stretch Armstrong, you can’t sign hazmat shipping papers from six feet away—the recommended social distance to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. PHMSA has issued recommendations for meeting your regulatory responsibility from a safe distance. 
 

4/6/20
PHMSA Enforcement Discretion For Cylinders That Exceeded The Periodic Requalification Test Date

US DOT PHMSA releases a Notice of Enforcement Discretion regarding cylinders that have exceeded their periodic requlification test date.

United States Postal Service (USPS) 

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4/23/20
USPS Revises Infectious Substances Shipping Rules

USPS has revised its Publication 52 regulations for mailing Category B Infectious Substances “to support the rapid deployment of coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic tests…”  


4/9/20
USPS Offers Exception for Shipping Hand Sanitizer

USPS customers can now request a “special exception” to the Publication 52 requirements for shipping hand sanitizers by ground or, in limited cases, domestic air.  
 


International Air Transport Association (IATA)

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10/27/2020
Dry Ice Shortage Could Freeze COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

From disinfecting wipes to N95 masks, from toilet paper to rice, the coronavirus pandemic has caused supply shortages of a multitude of products. The latest expected casualty: dry ice.


4/17/20
New IATA COVID-19 Guidance for Cargo on Passenger Aircraft

On April 17, IATA released guidance pertaining to the use of passenger aircraft to safely transport cargo and/or mail during the COVID-19 global health crisis.
 

4/6/20
IATA Clarifies Shipping Infectious Substances & COVID-19 Related Hazmat

Last month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released information to help hazmat shippers transport infectious substances and hand sanitizer safely and in compliance via air. This new guidance aims to assist supply-chain professionals, aircraft workers, and frequent flyers alike in supporting the fight against COVID-19.


US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

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7/21/20
FDA Expands List of Potentially Dangerous Hand Sanitizers

FDA has expanded its list of hand sanitizers that potentially contain methanol to seventy-five products and seven different manufacturers. Plus, find out what steps you can take when purchasing and using sanitizing products to help ensure your team’s safety.
 

6/19/20
FDA Issues Advisory on Certain Hand Sanitizers Known to Contain Methanol

FDA is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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10/21/20
EPA List of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2

UPDATE: EPA's list of approved surface disinfectant surpasses 500 products, giving safety officers, employees, and consumers even more options to choose from to help protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19. US EPA shares a list of disinfectants for use against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 



8/25/20
How to Sign the Hazardous Waste Manifest During COVID-19

On August 20, EPA announced updated guidance to assist generators, transporters, and designated facilities with signing the hazardous waste manifest amid the coronavirus pandemic.  



7/24/20
Lysol Products Are the First EPA-Approved Surface Disinfectants for COVID-19

Earlier this month, EPA approved two Lysol brand disinfecting sprays as the first products tested to effectively destroy  SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, on hard, non-porous surfaces. This paves the way for more disinfectants to be approved in the future.


7/16/20
EPA’s COVID Enforcement Policy Ends 8/31

The enforcement discretion policy US EPA implemented in March to help organizations cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 public health emergency now has an end date.


6/25/20
EPA Issues Enforcement Actions Amid Influx of Misleading Disinfectants

Since coronavirus has swept through the US, EPA has begun issuing enforcement actions against those who unlawfully attempt to mislead the public by importing, manufacturing, distributing, and/or selling unregistered, potentially harmful disinfecting products.


5/18/20
9 States Challenge EPA’s COVID-19 Enforcement Policy

Attorneys General from nine states filed suit against US EPA over the agency’s Temporary Policy on environmental enforcement during the COVID-19 public health emergency.


5/1/20
How to Clean and Disinfect the Workplace

CDC and EPA have collaborated on documentation and an infographic to help facility operators ensure the safety and wellbeing of their workforce once employees return to work.


4/15/20
CalEPA Issues Statement on Compliance with Regulatory Requirements During the COVID-19 Emergency

California’s Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)—the umbrella agency that oversees compliance with the Golden State’s unique hazardous waste, air, water, and chemical regulations—released a “Statement on Compliance with Regulatory Requirements During the COVID-19 Emergency.”
 

3/30/20
Disinfectant Claiming to Prevent COVID-19 Barred from US

EPA has barred an illegal disinfectant claiming to kill SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, from entering US ports in Honolulu and Guam.
 

3/26/20
EPA Announces Enforcement Discretion Policy for COVID-19 Pandemic

US EPA announces a temporary enforcement policy for routine monitoring and reporting violations that are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.