Considering How Changing CDC Guidance Should Change Your Workplace Safety Rules

We’re finally seeing some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. The CDC keeps updating their guidelines on how we should protect ourselves, but how should employers respond? That was the topic of a recent SHRM article and webcast.

The current approach has been a layered one, including distancing, mask requirements, hygiene, and airflow analysis. Lifting those restrictions would bring us back toward normal, but we’re not quite there yet even for fully vaccinated people.

First, industry rules, or state and local orders, may require stricter rules than the current recommendations. California is one good example. They are ignoring the new relaxed rules for health care facilities and places with high amounts of people.

Second, businesses should continue to assert their rights for stricter regulations for customers and employees should they feel it’s worth it. They should also consider what OSHA may require in the future, as they will be the ultimate arbiter. For now, OSHA is referring employers to CDC guidelines until they can update their regulations.

Business travel is another concern. Employers will need to check the rules for travel before starting business trips again. Domestic travel is almost back to normal for fully vaccinated travelers, subject to state rules, but international travel is still quite tricky.

The article goes into more details about travel and also has information about how employers can help employees adjust to the switch back to in-office work.