The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) requires employers to implement the Governor’s "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. Employers must ensure social distancing for employees and customers, frequent and adequate employee hand-washing, and that sick employees stay home. Employers must also provide basic workplace hazard education about coronavirus and how to prevent transmission in languages best understood by employees.
The recent increase in the spread of COVID-19 cases is very concerning. The latest data show Washington is seeing more than 2,000 new cases a day. In response, new statewide restrictions are in effect as of November 15th. Read more:
Use the information and resources on this page to help keep everyone safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have other specific questions on how you can maintain a safe and healthy workplace, contact a DOSH consultant near you.
It is against the law for any employer to take any adverse action such as firing or threats against a worker for exercising safety and health rights such as raising safety and health concerns to their employer, participating in union activities concerning safety and health matters, filing a safety and health complaint or participating in a DOSH investigation. Workers have 30 days to file their complaint with L&I DOSH and/or with Federal OSHA.
- Coronavirus Employee Training PowerPoint template (also available in Spanish)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention: Summary of General Workplace Requirements (F414-167-000): This fact sheet helps Washington employers know what their requirements are regarding employee safety and health during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Workplace Health and COVID-19 Prevention: General overall review for anyone interested in Washington specific information regarding COVID-19 prevention.
- COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers (Governor Inslee's office)
- COVID-19 Guidance on Ventilation in the Workplace (F414-173-000)
- Sequence for safely putting on and removing Personal Protective Equipment. Printable PDF (CDC)
- Stop the Spread of Germs (CDC poster) (also available in Spanish)
Masks, face shields, and respiratory protection
- Which Mask for Which Task? COVID-19 Prevention at Work: When to Use Face Coverings and Respirators (F414-168-000)
- eTool Selection Guide for Face Coverings, Masks, and Respirators
- Common questions and answers regarding worker face covering and mask requirements
- Putting on and Taking off a Mask Correctly (OSHA Video)
- Respirator Fit Testing Using Sweet and/or Bitter Solutions (U of Cincinnati Video)
- Respirator Fit Testing (pre-COVID overview) and Spanish version
- Cloth face coverings, Heat Stress, & COVID-19 prevention - questions and answers
- Seven Steps to Correctly Wear a Respirator at Work (OSHA Poster, available in 16 languages)
- Understanding the Difference Between Surgical Masks and N95 (CDC)
- Face Shield Assembly and Use (COVID-19 Crisis Strategy)
- Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR) Decontamination with Time (COVID-19 Crisis Strategy)
- Wildfire Smoke and Dust Masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic - September, 2020 Hazard Alert
- Agricultural COVID-19 Requirements Training Tool Kit (also available in Spanish)
- Additional requirements to protect temporary worker housing occupants from coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure (F414-170-000)
- COVID-19 Resources for Pacific Northwest Agriculture (UW/PNASH)
Cleanup and Sanitization
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention: Firefighting Industry Workplace Requirements and Suggestions (F414-171-000)
- Guidance for meatpacking and processing workers and employers (CDC)
- Steps to Reducing Worker Exposure to COVID-19 in Fish and Seafood Processing and Packaging Facilities. (OSHA Poster)
- Preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Healthcare Workers and Patients (Joint DOH & L&I Hazard Alert)
- COVID-19: Review of Respiratory Protection for Long-Term Care Workers (F414-161-000)
- Healthcare Industry Crisis Strategies: Considerations for Making Facemasks
- Ethylene Oxide Sterilization Systems should not be used to sterilize filtering facepiece respirators (N-95s)! - Hazard Alert
- Information for Healthcare Professionals (CDC)
- Healthcare Provider Resources & Recommendations (DOH)
- How to wear and use a homemade mask (Janitorial Safety Tip Sheet)
Long Term Care Facilities
- Respirator Program Template and Guide for N95 use at Long Term Care Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Employer Health & Safety Requirements for School Scenarios
- Respirator Program Template Guide for K-12 Schools
- Teaming Up Keeps COVID-19 Down
- Keeping Safe from COVID-19
- All SHARP information and resources for the Trucking Industry
Working from home/Telecommuting
Emergency Rule - Prohibited business activities and compliance with conditions for operations.
L&I adopted an emergency rule effective on May 26, 2020, and updated that emergency rule most recently on January 12, 2021: WAC 296-800-14035 - 2019 Novel coronavirus prohibited business activities and compliance with conditions for operations.
Under the emergency rule:
- Employers must not allow employees to perform work where a business activity is prohibited by an emergency proclamation.
- Employers must comply with all conditions for operation required by emergency proclamation, including Safe Start phased reopening requirements for all business and any industry specific requirements.
Temporary Worker Housing Emergency Rule
L&I has adopted Additional requirements to protect occupants in temporary worker housing from 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure (WAC 296-307-16102). These emergency rules are effective January 8, 2021 through May 8, 2021.
Some of the requirements in the emergency rule include:
- Educate occupants in a language or languages understood by the occupants on COVID-19;
- Provide occupants cloth face coverings;
- Ensure physical distancing of occupants when at housing sites, which includes all cooking, eating, bathing, washing, recreational, and sleeping facilities;
- Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces;
- Identify and isolate occupants with suspect and confirmed positive cases; and
- Submit to the Department of Health a revised temporary worker housing management plan that demonstrates how the operator will comply with the emergency rule requirements by May 28, 2020.
These policies provide guidelines to L&I staff when enforcing WACs (Washington Administrative Codes).
- Annual Fit-Testing, Respiratory Protection and Face Coverings during COVID-19 Pandemic (DOSH Directive 11.80 - Temporary Enforcement Guidance) Updated May 22, 2020.
- Expiring Training and Certifications During the COVID-19 Outbreak (DOSH Directive 1.60 - Temporary Enforcement Guidance)
- General Coronavirus Prevention Under Stay Home-Stay Healthy Order (DOSH Directive 1.70) Updated: December 22, 2020
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Rules
Accident Prevention Program (APP)
- All industries, except Agriculture: WAC 296-800-140
- Agriculture: Chapter 296-307, WAC Part B
- Some industries have additional requirements. Search Safety & Health rules for all APP requirements
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- All industries, except Agriculture: WAC 296-800-160
- Agriculture: Chapter 296-307, WAC Part H
- Some industries have additional requirements. Search Safety & Health rules for PPE requirements
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information in 36 Languages
- Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) Resources
- Washington State Dept of Health Novel Coronavirus Outbreak info
- Safe Start
- CDC Coronavirus info
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers To Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE and Equipment
- OSHA COVID-19 Info
- Higher Risk Jobs Need Extra Protections to Keep Workers Safe