On May 1, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an OSHA Alert for restaurants and beverage service businesses providing curbside and takeout service during the pandemic. This Alert is one in a series of industry-specific alerts that OSHA has published, and will continue to publish, to assist and educate businesses that will re-open (or that continued to operate), and which recommends certain measures to protect employees and patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
OSHA issued the following tips in a one-page poster employers can display in the workplace, which can help reduce workers’ risk of exposure to COVID-19:
- Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
- Avoid direct hand-off, when possible.
- Display a door or sidewalk sign with the services available (e.g., take-out, curbside), instructions for pickup, and hours of operation.
- Reserve parking spaces near the front door for curbside pickup only.
- Train workers in proper hygiene practices and the use of workplace controls.
- Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent spread of the virus.
- Provide a place to wash hands and alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and equipment with Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus.
- Practice sensible social distancing by maintaining six feet between co-workers and customers. Mark six-foot distances with floor tape in pickup lines, encourage customers to pay ahead of time by phone or online, temporarily move workstations to create more distance, and install plexiglass partitions, if feasible.
- Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.
OSHA’s tips act as recommendations, and businesses that do not strictly follow them will not necessarily face fines. However, following the recommendations is likely to reduce an employer’s risk of being subject to an OSHA inspection or enforcement action.