This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. In addition, the Act's General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

In June of 2020, as the country continued to struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 99,000 warehousing jobs were added to the rebounding American economy. As the importance of e-commerce continues to grow and the warehousing sector becomes even more important, Illinois must do whatever it can to ensure that this sector of the economy is set up to succeed. To underscore the importance of this space, the City of Chicago's new post-COVID-19 roadmap to economic recovery specifically called out the potential within the distribution and logistics sector through "leveraging new trends in the localization of supply chains."

To help ensure that the logistics industry in Illinois can be maximized, these businesses must do everything they can to promote the health and safety of their employees. COVID-19 issues specific to the logistics sector that must be addressed include:

  1. Social distancing between warehouse employees, including appropriate barriers
  2. Staggering shifts when appropriate
  3. Inability to work remotely
  4. Appropriate PPE for warehouse employees and those performing shipping and delivery
  5. Minimizing contact between shipping agents and those they serve
  6. COVID-19 symptom monitoring
  7. Proper air circulation inside warehouses
  8. Consistent and thorough facility and vehicle disinfection

The Illinois Department of Labor wants to help Illinois' logistics companies operate safely and effectively to ensure the revitalization of the state's economy. If you operate a logistics business in our state with 250 or fewer employees and would like to schedule a free, confidential health and safety consultation to review your operation and identify best practices for your business, please click here.

The Illinois Department of Labor also offers a COVID-19 Back to Business digital self-certification. This online tutorial will guide you through essential measures and best practices designed to get your business operating safely and effectively. Click here for more information on our self-certification.