Coronavirus (COVID-19), HR Management & Compliance

OSHA Issues COVID-19 Guidance for Restaurant Industry

On Friday, May 1, in a series of industry-specific guidance on COVID-19 safety measures, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a number of recommendations for employers in the restaurant and food and beverage industries.COVID-19

The guidelines largely mirror recommendations that have been issued for employers in other industries thus far. Specifically, OSHA recommends employers take the following steps:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick;
  • Avoid direct hand-off, when possible;
  • Display a door or sidewalk sign with the services available (e.g., take-out, curbside), instructions for pickup, and hours of operation;
  • Reserve parking spaces near the front door for curbside pickup only;
  • Train workers in proper hygiene practices and the use of workplace controls;
  • Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent spread of the virus;
  • Provide a place to wash hands and alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol;
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and equipment with Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus;
  • Practice sensible social distancing by maintaining 6 feet between coworkers and customers. Mark 6-foot distances with floor tape in pickup lines, encourage customers to pay ahead of time by phone or online, temporarily move workstations to create more distance, and install plexiglass partitions, if feasible; and
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

Employers taking the steps above should incorporate them into their COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. If you have questions regarding OSHA guidance, preparedness and response plans, or other workplace issues, contact your employment counsel.

Melissa Tetreau is a senior associate at Bodman PLC in Troy, Michigan. You can reach her at