Employee and customer safety order for Pennsylvania life-sustaining businesses

by | Apr 15, 2020 | Articles, Business and Corporate Law, COVID-19, Insights

The below information is current as of the publication date listed. Because COVID-19 response measures on all fronts are continually evolving, clients should stay alert to new developments and consult with counsel on any critical questions.

​Today, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health issued an order directing life-sustaining businesses that are permitted to continue in-person operations to implement a series of safety measures for workers and customers. Among the requirements of the order are:

  • Require all customers to wear masks while on premises and deny entry to individuals not wearing masks
  • Provide masks for employees and mandate that employees wear them while at work
  • Implement temperature screening for employees and send home employees that have a temperature of 100.4 or higher
  • Symptomatic or sick employees are to remain at home
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely in accordance with CDC guidelines
  • Ensure that common areas are cleaned on a regular basis
  • Follow specified protocols when the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case
  • Stagger start, stop, and break times to avoid gatherings of employees
  • Limit employees in common or break areas to the number that can maintain social distancing of six feet
  • Conduct meetings and training virtually or, if they must be in person, with no more than 10 people at least six feet apart
  • Provide employees access to regular hand-washing with soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes
  • Schedule hand-washing breaks for employees at least every hour
  • Prohibit non-essential visitors from entering the business
  • Conduct business by appointment only if feasible and, if not, limit occupancy to no more than 50% of the occupancy certificate, maintain social distancing of six feet, and place signage mandating social distancing
  • Alter business hours as necessary to ensure sufficient time to clean
  • Make all employees aware of the requirements of the order
  • Install shields or other barriers at registers and check-out areas to physically separate cashiers and customers or take other measures to ensure social distancing, and use every other register
  • Encourage online ordering by providing delivery or pick-up options
  • Designate a specific time for high-risk and elderly persons to use the business at least once every week
  • Assign an employee to wipe down carts and handbaskets for customers

The order is effective immediately and is enforceable starting at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.

This latest order is in addition to the Secretary of Health’s April 6, 2020 order requiring certain building safety measures for life-sustaining businesses operating in buildings of at least 50,000 square feet.

Today’s order also comes on the heels of temporary enforcement guidance issued by OSHA this week for COVID-19 related complaints, referrals and illness reports.

Saxton & Stump’s attorneys are available to help navigate the regulatory, employment and financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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