Austin Public Transit Looks to Reduce Risk of COVID-19 Among Employees
Capital Metro carefully manages complex guidance from OSHA, CDC and City of Austin to reduce COVID-19 exposure and infection.
Businesses and organizations around the globe are faced with a rather unique situation: figuring out how to bring employees back to work while juggling recommendations and guidance from the CDC, OSHA and local authorities amid a pandemic. Austin, Texas' public transportation provider, Capital Metro, is facing just that.
In response to employee COVID-19 infections and Austin’s Stay Home – Work Safe order, Capital Metro looked for expertise to develop an infectious disease response plan that ensured compliance with all local and national regulations, guidance and recommendations. In late April, Capital Metro selected a team of health and safety experts to quickly develop a job hazard analysis for bus operators, on-demand drivers and maintenance personnel to assess all tasks and control measures, taking into account CDC and OSHA guidance for essential businesses, including PPE, administrative and engineering controls.
Capital Metro worked even worked to create a return-to-work office and facility assessment, assessing all six Austin area office and operations facilities. This included a disinfectant evaluation and face shield training for employees to ensure employee confidence that their workplace and job are safe.
“The safety and wellbeing of the Capital Metro family and our customers is our number one priority as we continue to deliver a critical service during this public health emergency,” said Gardner Tabon, vice president of safety, risk management and accessible services management, Capital Metro. “With our understanding of the virus changing on a day-to-day basis, it is difficult to identify the right path forward. Berg has helped us identify that path. They have been extremely responsive, available and dedicated to making sure we are putting the proper measures in place to help ensure the safety of our communities.”
Recently, OSHA has stated that during an enforcement inspection, compliance safety and health officials will assess an employer’s efforts to explore all options to comply with applicable standards, including virtual training or remote communication strategies during the Coronavirus pandemic. Employers should seek out ways to customize their safety policies and procedures to reduce the risk of transmission.
“Making sense of complex and rapidly changing requirements can be an extensive, complicated and technical process for businesses, and this is made even more challenging in the midst of this pandemic,” said Russell Carr, president, Berg Compliance Solutions. “That’s why we are dedicated to equipping both existing essential business clients and new clients everywhere with the tools they need to help prevent and control the spread of the coronavirus across our globe.”