Whitehouse Centers for Disease Control and Prevention US Department of Homeland Security - Federal Emergency Management Agency

Workplace safety

Plan for potential changes at your workplace. Talk to your employer about their emergency operations plan, including sick-leave policies and telework options. Learn how businesses and employers can plan for and respond to COVID-19.

Last updated June 27, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s responsibilities as assigned under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide strategic guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure.

The list determining essential industries was developed in coordination with federal agencies and the critical infrastructure community as a guide to help state and local governments make decisions around reasonable accommodations for essential workers.

The list is meant to be broad enough to reflect the range of personnel that play a role in infrastructure resilience – including manufacturing, logistics, and others that support the global supply chain.

While this guidance is not a federal mandate, and final decisions remain at the state and local levels, we firmly believe it can serve as a baseline for a common national approach in prioritizing essential services and workers.

Last updated March 29, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site

Yes. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has a list of essential industries, available online.

Those industries include:

  • Healthcare/Public Health (i.e. hospitals and doctors)
  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety and First Responders (i.e. police and Emergency Management Services)
  • Food and Agriculture (i.e. farmers and food manufacturers)
  • Energy (i.e. natural gas and nuclear facilities)
  • Water and Waste water (i.e. water department)
  • Transportation and Logistics (i.e. trucking and shipping)
  • Public Works and Infrastructure (i.e. safety inspectors for public facilities including dams, bridges, etc.)
  • Communications and Information Technology (i.e. maintainers of communications infrastructure, such as wireless, internet and cable providers)
  • Community and Local Government (i.e. federal, state, local, tribal and territorial employees who support Mission Essential Functions)
  • Critical Manufacturing (i.e. metals, PPE, supply chain minerals and employees that support other essential services)
  • Hazardous Materials (i.e. healthcare waste and nuclear facilities)
  • Financial Services (i.e. banks)
  • Chemical (i.e. workers supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chains)
  • Defense Industrial (i.e. essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military)
  • Commercial Facilities (i.e. workers who support the supply chain of building materials)
  • Residential/Shelter Facilities (i.e. workers in dependent care services)
  • Hygiene Products and Services (i.e. laundromats, personal and household goods repair and maintenance)

While this guidance is not a federal mandate, and final decisions remain at the state and local levels, we firmly believe it can serve as a baseline for a common national approach in prioritizing essential services and workers.

Last updated March 29, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site

CDC recommends that employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F / 37.8° C) or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick. We recommend that businesses review CDC’s interim guidance for businesses and employers for planning and responding to coronavirus disease. Also see the FDA’s Retail Food Protection: Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook.

Last updated October 15, 2020
Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administrationlinks to external site

The risk of transmitting or spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, during vacuuming is unknown. At this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 associated with vacuuming. If vacuuming is necessary or required in a school, business, or community facility that was used by a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, first follow the CDC recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities that apply, which includes a wait time of 24 hours, or as long as practical.

After cleaning and disinfection, the following recommendations may help reduce the risk to workers and other individuals when vacuuming:

  • Consider removing smaller rugs or carpets from the area completely, so there is less that needs to be vacuumed.
  • Use a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.
  • Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night, for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms.
  • Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.

Last updated May 04, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

Recently, the virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in untreated wastewater. While data are limited, there is no information to date that anyone has become sick with COVID-19 because of exposure to wastewater. Standard practices associated with wastewater treatment plant operations should be sufficient to protect wastewater workers from the virus that causes COVID-19. These standard practices can include engineering and administrative controls, hygiene precautions, specific safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) normally required when handling untreated wastewater. No additional COVID-19–specific protections are recommended for workers involved in wastewater management, including those at wastewater treatment facilities.

Last updated June 11, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

No. The Federal Government recognizes that State, local, tribal, and territorial governments are ultimately in charge of implementing and executing response activities in communities under their jurisdiction, while the Federal Government is in a supporting role.

Accordingly, the CISA Essential Industry Guidance list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered, a federal directive or standard in and of itself.

While this guidance is not a federal mandate, and final decisions remain at the state and local levels, we firmly believe it can serve as a baseline for a common national approach in prioritizing essential services and workers.

Last updated March 30, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site