NY State Hero Act – Businesses Must Develop Airborne Infectious Disease Plan by August 5th

Earlier this year New York passed legislation requiring all businesses to develop a plan for addressing airborne infectious diseases.  The NY Department of Labor issued is rules last week and these plans must be in place by August 5th.

Each employer must develop a written plan by August 5th.  The NY Department of Labor has published templates that businesses can use.  You do not have to file the plans with NY State.  Instead companies will keep them on file.

These plans will go into operation when DOH has designated that there is a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public. At this point the DOH has not designated there is such an emergency.

It is easier for employer to adopt one of the template plans contained on the Department of Labor website.  Employers that develop their own, or adopt a different exposure prevention plan, shall adopt such plan:

  • Pursuant to an agreement with the collective bargaining representative, or
  • With the meaningful participation of employees where there is no collective bargaining representative, for all aspects of the plan,
  • Plan shall be tailored and specific to the hazards in the specific industry and worksites of the employer.
  • The plan shall consider and incorporate controls applicable to the worksite as outlined in the appropriate industry specific model templates published by the department of labor
  • The plan shall be reviewed and updated whenever necessary
  • The plan shall be made available, upon request, to all employees, employee representatives, collective bargaining representatives, independent contractors, the department of labor, and the department of health.

The basic elements of an exposure plan would include basic exposure controls such as:

  • Health Screening:
  • Physical distancing
  • Face coverings
  • Hand Hygiene at facilities
  • Cleaning and disinfection of workplace
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Stay at home policy

The law also requires companies to set up workers committees to provide advice on the exposure plan.  The Department of Labor will establish rules for these committees in November.

For additional details, including exposure plan templates go to the NY Department of Labor website by clicking HERE.


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