OSHA’s Alert to Protect Retail Pharmacy Workers from COVID-19

The Department of Labor just issued safety tips for employers to protect retail pharmacy workers from exposure to the coronavirus.

OSHA has issued an alert and safety tips for employers and workers in the retail pharmacy industry. Pharmacies are a critical part of society, and the public’s need to prescriptions and medications does not stop during a pandemic.

OSHA recommends that retail pharmacies follow the following safety measures:

  • 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.

The new alert is available for download in English and Spanish. Visit OSHA’s Publications webpage for other useful workplace safety information.

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