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Comment PDF COVID-19

Virus Countermeasures Drive Worker Safety

By Scott Jenkins |

The COVID-19 threat has increased the urgency for implementing contagion-prevention strategies and controls for workers at industrial sites Chemical process industries (CPI) companies are used to managing a range of worker health risks related to chemical exposure, extreme temperatures and noise, among others, but the global coronavirus pandemic has forced CPI facilities to elevate a broad set of infectious disease considerations to prominence among other process safety priorities. To reduce infection risk in industrial workspaces, companies are enhancing disinfection protocols, increasing use of respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE), implementing physical distancing at jobsites, relying on remote work, and other strategies. Industry consultants have provided some guidance for companies to use as they operate in the midst of a pandemic. Meanwhile, vendors and equipment providers have responded by introducing products to help reduce contagion risk in various scenarios. Theresa McCollom, a certified industrial hygienist and environmental, health and safety consultant at the U.S. headquarters of Antea Group (St. Paul, Minn.; us.anteagroup.com) says that while the pandemic has impacted the chemical process industries unevenly…
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