On September 6, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under the HERO Act. This designation requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans. What does this mean?
This means the following measures must be implemented:
- Health screenings must be performed at the beginning of shifts.
- Face coverings must be worn “to the greatest extent possible.” It is likely that both vaccinated and unvaccinated personnel will need to wear masks indoors, but this has not yet been confirmed.
- PPE must be provided to employees (e.g., face coverings).
- Optimize physical distancing (e.g., limit occupancy, floor markings, remote meetings, promote social distancing, etc.).
- Enhanced cleaning of high-touch areas (doorknobs, bathrooms, etc.).
- A verbal review of the dealership’s exposure prevention plan.
Dealers should closely examine Section B.8. of the HERO Act Standard (found here), which goes over what employers must do when the HERO Act is implimented.
Additionally, dealers may consider implementing increased ventilation during test drives (open windows), as well as requiring all on the test drive to be masked. Further, employees should sit as far away as possible from the driver during a test drive.
Please continue to monitor the Department of Labor’s HERO Act webpage, found here, for additional updates