​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.

As the Illinois economy continues to reopen in the wake of COVID-19, businesses are looking for safe, responsible and effective ways to reopen. The Illinois Department of Labor wants Illinoisans to work safely. In an effort to help businesses in Illinois re-engage, IDOL is offering a free, voluntary "Back to Business" self-certification for businesses with 250 employees or less. This self-certification is designed to educate businesses on best practices around getting their operations running safely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also a way of showing employees and visitors that impactful measures have been taken to keep them safe and healthy.

Businesses will receive this self-certification by completing a series of modules online and instituting the necessary practices to ensure they are operationally compliant and committed to operating safely and responsibly. The "Back to Business" online self-certification will emphasize the following:

  • Basic infection prevention
  • Physical space modification
  • Infectious disease planning
  • Employee monitoring
  • Workplace flexibility

Businesses that complete their Back to Business Illinois certification will receive an accreditation to showcase inside their business to validate the steps they are taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep their employees and customers safe. Businesses will also receive digital assets to promote across their social media platforms to highlight their completion of the certification program.

Completing this self-certification process is critical because it is an excellent way to show both employees and visitors that you have thoughtfully addressed health and safety concerns related to operating safely in a post-COVID-19 work environment. Peace of mind will be key to making sure employees and visitors embrace businesses as they continue to operate, and this program is designed to give them that reassurance.