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NY Hero Act: Protecting NY Workers from Airborne Diseases

Earlier this month, the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease was announced under The New York Health and Essential Rights Act, also known as the NY HERO Act.

By requiring all employers to implement COVID-19 workplace safety plans, this new law will protect workers from exposure and prevent future airborne infectious disease outbreaks. Under the law, the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) has established a new Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, and several industry-specific model plans. Companies can either adapt the appropriate policy or develop an alternative one that meets the law’s requirements. 

Exposure controls during a designated outbreak include health screenings, face coverings,  physical distancing, hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection. A copy of the adopted airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan must be provided to employees and posted in a notable and visible location within each worksite. 

The law covers all businesses in non-governmental industries across New York and work sites, with the exception of any employee or employer within the coverage of a temporary or permanent OSHA standard on COVID-19. 

Looking ahead, the NY Hero Act will change the way businesses operate and adhere to safety protocol. So how else has the pandemic impacted the daily workplace? Find out in our latest blog post.

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