Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued guidance on May 4, 2020 requiring employers engaged in business to execute and post a form titled “COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses”. This form requires employers to identify a Pandemic Safety Officer. This individual is responsible for overseeing the administration of the business’s COVID-19 safety procedures, as well as responding to employee and subcontractor questions regarding these safety procedures.
A Pandemic Safety Officer is responsible for three main categories of duties:
· Health and Cleaning;
· Social Distancing; and
· Responding to a COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.
A specific outline of the responsibilities of a Pandemic Safety Officer is listed on the COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses form, and these duties include but are not limited to providing masks and disinfecting agents to employees, ensuring the premises are properly cleaned, preventing large groups of employees from congregating, and establishing a plan for employee COVID-19 exposure. A Pandemic Safety Officer should be knowledgeable of the recommended CDC guidance as he/she is responsible for advising employees to follow this guidance and answering relevant questions.
The name, phone number, and email address of the Pandemic Safety Officer must be provided on the posted form. Although the executed form does not need to be returned to the Commonwealth, it must be posted and available upon request by local law enforcement officers.
As such, we recommend the following action steps for employers:
· Designate a Pandemic Safety Officer
· Provide his/her name and pertinent contact information on the posted form
· Ensure this individual understands his/her responsibilities as the designated Pandemic Safety Officer
· Take steps to ensure that the required duties are followed and documented.
If you have any questions or concerns related to these topics, please contact one of the attorneys in our Employment Law Group at 1-888-488-2638.