U.S. Department of Labor Issues Alert to Help Keep Retail Pharmacy Workers Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect retail pharmacy workers from exposure to the coronavirus.
Safety measures for retail pharmacies include:
- Encourage customers to submit prescriptions online or by phone. Allow customers to provide their insurance information verbally or virtually (e.g., through mobile apps or the pharmacy’s website);
- Increase the use of self-serve checkouts to minimize worker interaction with customers;
- Frequently clean and disinfect checkout and customer service counters;
- Install clear plastic barriers between workers and customers at order/pickup counters;
- Use signage and floor markers to keep waiting customers at least 6 feet from the counter, other customers and pharmacy staff; and
- Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns. It is illegal to retaliate against workers for reporting illnesses or for reporting unsafe or unhealthful working conditions.
Visit OSHA’s Publications webpage for other useful workplace safety information.
The alert is the latest effort by OSHA to educate and protect America’s workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic. OSHA has also published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, a document aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.