OSHA Issues Guidance for Employers in Package Delivery Industry

On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidance to employers in the package delivery industry intended to assist them in reducing the risk of their workers being exposed to COVID-19.  The recommendations are broadly applicable to all companies using workers to deliver items to customers.  Specifically, OSHA recommends that employers providing delivery services:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Establish flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) where feasible.
  • Practice sensible social distancing and maintain six feet between co-workers where possible.
  • Minimize interaction between drivers and customers by leaving deliveries at loading docks, doorsteps, or other locations that do not require person-to-person exposures.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Promote personal hygiene. If workers do not have access to soap and water for handwashing, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol. Provide tissues, as well as disinfectants and disposable towels workers can use to clean work surfaces, including vehicle interiors.
  • Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.
  • Discourage workers from using other workers’ tools and equipment.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus.
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

The OSHA alert follows the Agency’s earlier guidance on how employers can prepare their workplaces for COVID-19.  Littler Workplace Policy Institute (WPI) will continue to advise employers of guidance and recommendations from OSHA and other agencies as they are issued.  Employers with questions on responding to workplace health and safety issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic are advised to consult experienced counsel.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.