Stennis Space Center Safe-at-Work Protocol *(updated 5-6-20)*
Stennis Space Center (SSC) is committed to keeping all personnel working on site as safe as possible. This workplace protocol is required by NASA employees and NASA contractors working at SSC and strongly encouraged for tenant organizations. It shall be followed until notified otherwise. The protocol will be assessed as SSC changes Stages and updated as needed. The goal of this protocol is to take all practical actions to inhibit the spread of the COVID-19 and minimize every employee’s exposure risks while they are working to maintain the safety and security of the center.
The general philosophy of this protocol is such that employees who must perform work on site should do so with the perspective that everyone around them is treated as an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. With this in mind, employees should practice strong social distancing protocols and treat each other with the appropriate level of precaution.
Supervisors and Team Leads Responsibilities:
If you are responsible for leading a team of people who have been asked to physically continue work on site, stop and consider if the work you have been asked to perform is necessary to protect life and critical infrastructure or has been approved by the Center Director. If you believe the work is not necessary, discuss other options with your management. If you feel that you are being asked to compromise the safety of your team, feel free to contact the NASA SSC Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate. Alternate pathways for expressing concerns regarding COVID-19 workplace safety are also available via contractors’ Safety offices, SSC Ombudsman, Office of Human Capital, and NASA Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance at Headquarters. Employees who are identified as High Risk per the CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html) are not required to put themselves and/or their family at risk and it is recommended they telework as much as possible. The same consideration is given to employees who reside with someone in this category. However, they do have the option to take personal risk and choose to work on site if requested. Supervisors will make accomodations will be made for employees regarding their comfort with return to work without reservation or reprisal.
- For work that has been identified as necessary to protect life and critical infrastructure, communicate with your team daily as to who is needed where and again, identify opportunities for individuals to telework if at all possible (e.g. Procedures can be drafted and reviewed/approved via telework approaches). If the employee does not absolutely need to be on site to accomplish the required work, have the employee accomplish their tasks from home.
- If you are physically working on site at SSC to support essential activities and there are routine activities that do not require you to be physically together (e.g. daily tag up meetings), continue to implement social distancing. For example, schedule a TEAMS or WebEx meeting and stay in separate areas as much as you can.
- Ensure your team has the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and effective cleaning materials, per the guideline below, to perform the job safely.
- Make sure all break rooms and other common areas are configured to support proper social distancing even if this requires reduced occupancy (e.g. ensure seating is at least six 6 feet apart).
- Remind employees to complete the Daily COVID-19 Checklist for those working onsite at SSC before entering the site for work, which is included at the end of this document.
- Contact the Emergency Operations Manager (Kenny Volante, 228-342-8167) if someone under your direct supervision reports possible COVID-19 related symptoms or potential exposure. Ensure that the person is sent home and remains away from SSC during the self-isolation period.
General Safety Procedures Applicable to All:
Stay home if you are sick or have recently been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or shows flu-like or cold-like symptoms, even if symptoms are mild. Inform your supervisor of your conditions and any concerns that you may have. Review the Daily COVID-19 Checklist before coming to work.
Keep a distance of at least 6 feet between you and your colleagues whenever possible. Use physical means of separation when feasible, including but not limited to “sneeze guard” type barriers, stanchions, barrier tape, etc. Use teleconferencing for routine interfaces and meetings or hold them outdoors with sufficient distancing.
The healthcare industry has adopted personal protection precautions for a wide range of pathogens to which their workers are routinely exposed. This set of practices and equipment are collectively known as Standard Precautions. Review and adopt these simple routines. Additional Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance is found at (https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/index.html).
When working onsite, the following control measures are to be implemented to reduce the possibility that asymptomatic but contagious personnel will transmit the disease to others:
- Wash hands frequently, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if available. (https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html)
- Clean and disinfect surfaces before and after use in your work area that are routinely touched, including: keyboard, door handles, phone, tablet, smart watch, GOV steering wheel, etc.
- Store away into closed cabinets and drawers any non-essential items. This step will make any needed cleaning easier to
- Avoid touching common contact surfaces (ex. elevator buttons, handrails) directly. Use a paper towel, napkin or your sleeve to make such contact whenever
- Avoid leaning on objects such as desks or countertops that are in public spaces
- Where feasible, leave doors to commonly accessed rooms open to avoid multiple people touching door knobs multiple times per day
- Tape off floor of work areas to remind workers to keep distance from other workers.
- As lonely as this sounds, have lunch on your own each day!
- Do not carpool to work, or share vehicles while working on site. If you must drive a share vehicle, follow cleaning procedures after use.
- If you see co-worker not adhering to this protocol, express your concern to that co-worker and/or your supervisor. If you see something, say something; we need to keep each other safe.
- Remember, if you don’t feel safe at work, notify your supervisor.
- If equipment must be shared between employees, disinfect the contact surfaces between employees using the CDC recommendations (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html).
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE):
- Required PPE
All personnel must be aware of their PPE requirements. PPE adds additional protection for when social distancing cannot be achieved and gives assurance to co-workers that we are all protecting each other.
For the purposes of this protocol, a “mask” will be defined as a purpose built device, either commercially available or homemade following CDC guidelines, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html used to prevent the spread of shed virus cells to the environment during specific job related activities , minimizing the potential exposure to other employees. A mask can be a cloth face covering or surgical-type mask.
The Centers for Disease Control and the NASA Chief Health and Medical Officer have provided guidance that cloth face coverings, even homemade ones, may help reduce the spread of the virus in public settings. Every employee who comes on site to work is required to use a cloth face covering as described below.
- A cloth face covering should—
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
- fully cover the nose and mouth
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
- should be cleaned/laundered on a routine basis, depending on frequency of use
- Masks shall be used in common areas such as hallways, elevators, and places where food is sold.
- In the event that a worker needs to work within 6 feet of another worker, all workers shall use a mask.
- A surgical mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for respiratory protective equipment.
Respirators are defined as personal protective devices that are designed to protect the wearer from inhaling hazardous particulate in their environment. The use of respirators requires a medical evaluation, training, and fit testing. OSHA does allow the voluntary use of respirators. This use must be coordinated with your supervisor and the OSHA Voluntary Use Form must be completed prior to use (https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.134AppD).
Due to extreme shortages and lack of availability due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASA and its prime contractors can only provide to personnel the appropriate protective respirator needed to perform operations that required this device prior to COVID-19.
- Protective Eyewear
- Protective eyewear must be worn to the extent possible while working in close proximity to others or in areas of high traffic. Examples of areas for use of eye protection are the B2 OCC, adjoining desks without partitions, and test control rooms. Using eyewear will accomplish two things. First, it will reduce the likelihood of droplets contacting the eyes and face. Second, it will remind people to not touch their eyes or face without first washing their hands.
- If a face shield is used to protect the eyes for these COVID 19 control measures, eyewear is not required in addition. However, if a face shield is required for the job (i.e. blasting, grinding, etc.), then protective eyewear is required under the face shield.
- Safety eyewear and face shields should be washed with water and soap before and after use.
- If washing is not feasible use alcohol wipes.
- Hard Hats, Fall Protection, Tools, etc.
- Do not use co-workers’ hard hats, lab coats, fall protection gear, or other wearable items unless absolutely necessary and thoroughly cleaned.
- Ensure that common tools (tools used by multiple workers) are cleaned appropriately between employee usages.
- Protective clothing should be properly donned with care. Consider removing protective clothing prior to entering your family’s home and/or with the appropriate level of concern for potential contamination.
- Gloves are only recommended for use while cleaning. Washing your hands is the more effective option.
- Only wear gloves that are required for the work activity performed or while cleaning. After removing the gloves, wash your hands thoroughly.
When wearing eye protection and a mask to perform work, put it on before arriving and keep it on after work has been completed, until you are well away from the facility. At that point the protection can be removed and carefully cleaned. Wash hands after handling the equipment.
Wearing a mask and eye protection trains the wearer not to touch their face, limiting a possible route of infection, and could decrease the likelihood of shedding the virus in a shared area.
- High touch cleaning procedures:
- Clean commonly touched areas before and after use.
- Collect any needed supplies for the task, including PPE (i.e. – gloves for small items and gloves with smock/lab coat/coveralls for large area cleaning), cleaning/disinfectant supplies, and waste receptacle.
- If using something other than alcohol wipes, verify the required contact time for the disinfectant that you will be using. This information should be available on the disinfectant bottle/container label, or in manufacturer information.
- Don PPE as appropriate and carefully remove and place in bags for disposal or washing.
- Focus cleaning on frequently-touched surfaces. Examples include desk, keyboard, mouse, telephone, door handles, GOVs, and other equipment within the area, etc.
- Apply disinfectant to selected surfaces using both spraying and wet wiping method.
- For general non-electrical surfaces start by using a wetted wipe with at least 70% alcohol.
- Use a spray bottle with alcohol or approved disinfectant and spray twice.
- Allow sufficient contact time (as prescribed in the label or internal procedure).
- Ensure area is evenly distributed with disinfectant before wiping clean.
- Start by going over the surface with a horizontal even movement of hand/wipe.
- For mobile electronic equipment:
- Use alcohol wipes on surfaces that will not damage the equipment. If available use an antistatic/alcohol wipe.
- For the plastic mobile equipment covers:
- It is recommended they be removed and washed with soap and warm water.
- If the cover is a porous non-washable material then use an alcohol wipe and clean.
- Discard used cleaning materials in waste containers.
Personnel are advised to contact the appropriate NASA or contractor Industrial Hygiene team with questions concerning proper cleaning procedures and appropriate use of COVID-19 related PPE.
Daily COVID-19 Checklist for those working onsite at SSC
As Stennis Space Center settles into daily life under Stage 4, it remains imperative that the workforce that continues to come into the center to support critical operations remain vigilant in self-monitoring to minimize potential COVID-19 exposure in the workplace. To that end, we are asking ALL employees coming into SSC to self-administer the following checklist before traveling to work each day:
- Do you currently have any of the following symptoms?
Or at least two of these symptoms:
- Loss of Taste or Smell
- Muscle pain
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Sore Throat
- Shortness of Breath
Direction if Yes – Do not come to SSC, notify supervisor, contact your personal care physician, and follow appropriate CDC guidelines* for care.
- Have you had close personal contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days (all contacts public, friends, family, work)?
- Within 6 feet for greater than 6 minutes
- In direct contact with infectious secretions (coughed/sneezed upon)
Direction if Yes – Do not come to SSC, notify supervisor, and self-isolate for 14-days from last date of exposure. If symptoms described in #1 begin, follow appropriate CDC guidelines* for care.
- Have you traveled internationally within the past 14 days?
Direction if Yes – Do not come to SSC, notify supervisor, and self-isolate for 14-days from date of return from overseas travel. If symptoms described in #1 begin, follow appropriate CDC guidelines* for care.
We again ask that all members of the SSC workforce that are accessing the site daily continue to practice all appropriate self-care routines (social distancing, hand washing, limit face touching, etc.) to minimize the potential for exposure while onsite.
Site Status Update from 4-10-20
For Your Awareness – SSC distributed the attached “Safe At Work” protocol today for the NASA, and NASA Contractor workforce performing mission critical work onsite during Stage 4 of NASA’s COVID-19 response framework at SSC. The goal of this protocol is to take all practical actions to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 and minimize every employee’s exposure risks while they are working to maintain the safety and security of the center. Please review the NASA protocols and consider implementing similar measures within your own onsite workforce. Questions regarding the protocol should be directed to the Safety and Mission Assurance contacts listed in the below information.
For NASA, and NASA Contractor personnel, this protocol will go into full effect Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
All others should consult with their leadership for guidance.
Lastly, and in a continued effort to minimize exposure risks, personnel are asked to keep their vehicle windows closed, or slightly cracked if necessary, while they transition through the security gates.