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.

Illinois' manufacturing industry plays a major role in the health and vitality of the state's economy, driving 14% of our overall productivity and yielding more than $100 billion in economic impact. Making sure that the industry gets back to work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly important given the fact that, prior to the outbreak of the virus, Illinois lost more than 13,000 manufacturing jobs in 2019.

To help ensure that small and midsize manufacturing firms in Illinois get back to full capacity, each one must do everything it can to both protect their employees and ensure their health and safety. COVID-19 issues specific to small and midsized manufacturing firms that must be addressed include:

  1. The high-contact nature of much of the sector's work
  2. The difficulty in maintaining social distancing within production teams
  3. Inability to work remotely
  4. Maintaining an appropriate supply of PPE
  5. Creating and maintaining flexible production schedules
  6. Disinfection of tools and equipment
  7. Minimizing visitor interaction
  8. Deliveries of supplies to manufacturing plants
The Illinois Department of Labor wants to help Illinois' small and midsize manufacturing firms operate safely and effectively to ensure the revitalization of the state's economy. If you operate a manufacturing 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.