Covid-19 Catapults Indoor Air Quality to the Top of the List

Forbes

by Sasha Wedekind
National – While people spend 90% of their time inside, indoor air quality has not been a large focus of attention for facilities management and tenants until recently. The coronavirus outbreak is bringing indoor air quality into the spotlight as hospitals work to mitigate the spread of disease and offices, retail, and education facilities are considering strategies to reopen safely and minimize infection. 

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OSHA Construction Safety Inspections Plunge 84% During Pandemic

Safety and Health Magazine

National – OSHA in-person checks of construction sites have fallen to about 16% of pre-coronavirus inspection levels, as the agency focuses on virus hazards in the health-care industry, agency data shows. In the first week of March, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted about 395 construction inspections. During the week of April 26, there were about 65 inspections. Construction work has continued across the nation, despite stay-at-home orders, because the federal government considers it an essential industry. While 975,000 construction workers became unemployed in April, there were still 6.6 million people employed by builders, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

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Senators to Scalia: Emergency OSHA Standard Needed as Economy Reopens

Safety and Health Magazine

National – Washington — More than two dozen lawmakers are calling on OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease, among other steps, before reopening the economy, in an April 29 letter sent to Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. Along with the temporary standard, the senators are calling on OSHA to issue “additional interpretations regarding existing standards to increase enforceable protections” and “comprehensive” guidance on what employers must do to protect workers.

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OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance on Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare During the Coronavirus Pandemic

National -The response to the pandemic has created an increased demand for FFRs, limiting their availability for use in protecting workers in healthcare and emergency response from exposure to the virus. As a result, the President directed the Secretary of Labor to “consider all appropriate and necessary steps to increase the availability of respirators.” In some circumstances, employers may find it necessary to decontaminate FFRs to facilitate their reuse. However, because of the potential for decontamination methods to affect respirator fit and/or performance, there are no NIOSH-approved methods for such processes.

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