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Safety Standards and Checklist: Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed

Reopening Phase III mandatory safety standards, recommended best practices and a checklist for sectors not otherwise addressed. EFFECTIVE: March 1, 2021

These COVID -19 Specific Standards for Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed establish minimum standards for any Phase I, Phase II, or Phase III enterprise that is permitted to re-open but is not specifically addressed by sector-specific COVID-19 safety standards. These Specific Standards for Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed are issued to provide owners and operators of enterprises and workers at those enterprises with instructions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as enterprises re-open.

These standards are minimum requirements only and are not exclusive or exhaustive. The public health data for disease prevention upon which these guidelines are based can and does change frequently, it is the responsibility of each enterprise to stay abreast of any updates to these requirements.

Violation of these standards may result in civil fines of up to $500 per violation; provided that each individual instance of non-compliance and each day of a continuing violation may be fined as a separate violation. Each person present over any capacity limit specified below may likewise be fined as a separate violation.

Table of Contents

Key Documents for Reopening

Linked below are three important documents:

  1. Workplace Safety Standards - Complete and official sector-specific standards for reopening sectors not otherwise addressed (all workplaces must also comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces)
  2. Protocol Summary - User friendly summary of the standards and best practices
  3. Checklist - Printable tool to help businesses perform the required self-certification for opening and ensure compliance with the sector-specific standards 

Social Distancing

  • Each enterprise must monitor customer entries and exits and limit occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:
    • 50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder
    • Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 10 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible space
    • In any case, no enclosed space within the building may exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet
    • All occupant counts and calculations shall include customers but may exclude staff, and other workers
  • Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals where possible
    • Close or reconfigure common spaces and high density areas where workers and customers are likely to congregate (e.g. lobbies and workstations for customers) to allow social distancing. Employers are encouraged to close break rooms or limit their use
    • Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be separated by 6 feet or more (partitions must extend to at least 6 feet in height)
    • For customer facing enterprises, install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom) and physical barriers for checkout stations where possible
    • Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation
  • Stagger lunch and break times for workers, regulate the maximum number of people in one place, and ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing
  • Require face coverings for all workers, and customers as necessary, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability
  • Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit to rooms, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies
  • Contactless payment methods are encouraged

Hygiene Protocols

  • Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, and allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative
  • Provide regular sanitation of high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, and restrooms throughout work site
  • Supply workers at workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)
  • Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers and customers of hygiene and safety protocols
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances and throughout floor areas for both workers and customers
  • Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers
  • Disinfect shared equipment before use by another worker

Staffing and Operations

  • Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:
    • Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings
    • Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks
    • Importance of not coming to work if ill
    • When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe
    • Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus
  • Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:
    • Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic
    • Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health officia
    • Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home
  • Adjust workplace hours and shifts (working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion
  • Encourage customers or outside vendors to make appointments in advance to receive service or deliver materials if possible
  • Maintain a log of workers, customers, and temporary visitors to support contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information) if needed
  • Enterprises are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high- risk populations as defined by the CDC if applicable
  • Close waiting areas and ask customers to wait outside or in cars until it is time for their appointment if applicable
  • Remove non-essential amenities (magazines, customer-facing water or coffee, close coat rooms, etc.) in waiting or other common areas
  • For services provided in-home and for in-home installation or delivery of products, delay the service or delivery if the customer indicates potential COVID-19 positive person in the household
  • Workers may not come in to work if feeling ill
  • Encourage workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control to stay home or re-assign duties to reduce contact with other workers and customers
  • Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer
  • Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer must immediately notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located. Employers must assist the LBOH with contact tracing efforts,  includingadvising likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH
  • Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in the Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplace
  • Enterprises should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning
  • Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas
  • Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • In event of a positive case, follow current CDC guidance on cleaning and disinfecting areas when someone has a COVID-19 diagnosis
  • Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily, and more frequently if feasible)
  • Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning
  • Conduct frequent disinfecting of high traffic areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, rolling carts, bathrooms)
  • In the event of a positive case, shut down the site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with CDC guidance
  • Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible 
Last updated: February 25, 2021