NY Department of Labor published the model workplace airborne infectious exposure prevention standards, a general airborne infectious disease exposure prevention standard, and several template prevention plans for the following areas/industries: Agriculture, Construction, Delivery Services, Domestic Workers, Emergency Response, Food Services, Manufacturing and Industries, Personal Services, Private Education, Private Transportation, and Retail.

Exposure Prevention Plan During an Airborne Infectious Disease Outbreak

When a highly contagious communicable disease is designated by the Commissioner of Health as presenting a serious risk of harm to the public health, employers must:

  • Immediately review their exposure prevention plans and update the plans, if necessary, to ensure that they incorporate current information, guidance, and mandatory requirements issued by federal, state, or local governments related to the infectious agent of concern;
  • Finalize and promptly activate the worksite exposure prevention plan;
  • Provide a verbal review of the employer’s safety policies, employees’ rights under the HERO Act, and the written exposure prevention plan (which can be conducted via audio or video conference technology);
  • Provide each employee with a copy of the exposure prevention plan in English or in the language identified as the primary language of such employees, if the NYSDOL makes a translation available;
  • Post a copy of the exposure prevention plan in a visible and prominent location at the worksite; and
  • Ensure that a copy of the exposure prevention plan is accessible to employees during all work shifts.

While the airborne infectious disease designation remains in effect, the General Standard states that employers must ensure that their exposure prevention plans are effectively followed by:

  • Assigning enforcement responsibilities and ensuring that adequate enforcement of the exposure prevention plan takes place;
  • Monitoring and maintaining exposure controls (as defined below); and
  • Regularly checking for updated information and guidance provided by the NYSDOH and the CDC concerning the airborne infectious disease and updating the exposure prevention plan, when necessary, so that the plan reflects current NYSDOH and CDC recommended control measures. (National Review)

The NYDOL guidance and model plans can be found here:  https://dol.ny.gov/ny-hero-act

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