OSHA Guidelines Impact Massage Therapists


Recent article highlights OSHA changes and their meaning for the profession

A recent Massage Magazine article discusses recent measures taken by OSHA in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, and how those mandates will influence massage therapy practice going forward. 

“OSHA separates businesses by their risk categories,” writes author Andrea Fiorillo, LMT. “Massage therapy is considered a Medium Exposure Risk job because we require frequent/close contact with people who may be infected, but who are not known or suspected to be infected with COVID-19, and because most of us are exposed to people who live in an area where COVID-19 is active.

“In the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak, it is difficult to eliminate exposure. The most effective protection measures for us in order are: engineering controls, administrative controls and PPE. While there are pros and cons to each type of control, a combination of the three has been found to be necessary to protect from exposure to COVID-19.”

Fiorillo highlighted the measures in three categories, including:

1. Engineering controls isolate therapists from work-related hazards

2. Administrative controls are changes in work policies or procedures in order to minimize exposure

3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes gloves, goggles, face shields, masks and gowns. While engineering and administrative controls are considered more effective in minimizing exposure for your office staff, massage therapists are at a higher risk of exposure due to the extent of time working in close proximity to another person.

Meanwhile, employers are required to:

  • Provide your workers with the proper PPE to keep them safe while massaging, cleaning and interacting with clients and other staff.
  • Ensure PPE fits properly. Each piece has directions on how to wear them and how they are to fit properly.
  • You must also ensure all employees know how to properly put on their PPE, how to do their jobs while wearing it, how to properly remove it, and how to dispose of it or store it according to your policies.

SOURCE: Massage Magazine

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