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ANSI Members Offer Safety and Industry Guidance during COVID-19 Outbreak


3/16/2020

As businesses coordinate disaster measures to safeguard people from contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19), several American National Standards Institute (ANSI) members, including the Behavorial Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), IAPMO, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the National Restaurant Association, have created industry-specific guidelines and planning tips during the pandemic.

ANSI will be providing regular updates on business and industry news amid the current outbreak on www.ansi.org.

Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Offers Webinar on How ABA Businesses Can Prepare for the Impact of COVID-19

The Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) has engaged a leading labor and employment law firm, Ogletree Deakins, to provide a live webinar on March 17, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (PST) that will answer frequently asked questions from business owners about subjects including furloughs, temporary office and location closings, and short-term layoffs.

While BHCOE typically reserves informational webinars for BHCOE-accredited members, this webinar is open to the public due to the state of the health emergency. Find out more and register on BHCOE's event page: How Businesses Can Prepare for the Impact of COVID-19.

IAPMO Issues Guidance on Coronavirus Exposure for Plumbing Professionals

The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) has issued a document that confirms that it is likely that the COVID-19 can be spread through building sanitary drainage system, and, therefore, for as long as the pandemic is still active, it should be assumed by anyone working on a sanitary drainage system that the virus is present.

"Considering the potential to come into contact with water and aerosols that contain the coronavirus when working on sanitary systems or sewers, it is highly recommended that plumbers wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE), including a full face shield that is worn over safety glasses, and gloves," writes IAPMO's Peter DeMarco, executive vice president of advocacy and research.

The statement also references OSHA standards for worker protection, including OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926, Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, which provides the requirements for construction worker safety, including plumbers who work on sanitary drains, vent systems, and sewers.

Read the full IAPMO statement with additional details: Understanding Coronavirus Exposure for Plumbing Professionals.

The National Restaurant Association Offers Safety Protocols

As restaurants across the nation face mandated closures and limit business to takeout and delivery, the National Restaurant Association is providing actionable resources for the industry, detailing multiple aspects of safety protocols, including:

Tips on Handwashing

What the Experts Say Informational Sheet

What You Can Do Fact Sheet

A List of Registered Disinfectant Products

The association notes that according to the CDC, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

Among the resources is the association's ServSafe Food Safety program, which offers classroom and online training options in a variety of languages aimed at both foodservice managers and employees. The ServSafe Food Handler Program and ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification Program are both accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

Find out more about the National Restaurant Association's Coronavirus Information and Resources.

NFPA Offers Planning Tips for Pandemic Preparedness

On its blog, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides organizational planning tips for pandemic preparedness and information on the NFPA 1600 Standard on Continuity, Emergency, and Crisis Management, recognized as the National Preparedness Standard.

"Widely used by public, not-for-profit, nongovernmental, and private entities on a local, regional, national, and global basis, NFPA 1600, Standard on Continuity, Emergency, and Crisis Management, has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a voluntary consensus standard for emergency preparedness," the NFPA reports.

The association also notes that amid the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare decision-makers may also find NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, helpful, and explains that the document provides critical safety information and requirements for isolation spaces, emergency planning, IT and data infrastructure, and more. The association also provides an NFPA Emergency Preparedness Checklist that helps organizations identify where they might want to focus their emergency preparedness efforts.

Read more on NFPA's blog: Organizational Planning Tips for Pandemic Preparedness.

Tech Companies Offer Solutions: Microsoft Launches Map to Track COVID-19, Google Provides Updates

Microsoft's Bing team has launched COVID-19 tracker, an interactive map to observe the spread of COVID-19. The map provides up-to-date information about confirmed cases worldwide, and provides active and recovered cases worldwide.

Google has announced the “Do the Five” campaign to raise awareness of simple measures people can take to slow the spread of the disease, according to the WHO. The company also announced that is partnering with the U.S. government in developing a website dedicated to COVID-19 education, prevention, and local resources nationwide. See more about Google's Efforts.

ANSI will continually monitor and update member news on ansi.org. Ideas and suggestions for online news items may be submitted to pr@ansi.org. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion.

See related news:

CDC References Standards for Recommended Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Personnel during Coronavirus Outbreak

Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, IAPMO Issues Statement on Plumbing Systems; ANSI Members Offer Recommendations

Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Protective Equipment (CDC)

ASHRAE Resources Available to Address COVID-19 Concerns

BOMA Publishes Coronavirus Guidance for Building Owners

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