Identification and Evaluation of COVID-19 Hazards

Identification and Evaluation of COVID-19 Hazards

Before we re-open our classrooms and offices, we will implement the following:

  • Conduct workplace-specific evaluations using the Supervisor/Dean Risk Assessment Guidelines (Attachment A)
  • Evaluate employees' potential workplace exposures to all persons at, or who may enter, our workplace.
  • Review applicable orders and general and industry-specific guidance from the State of California, Cal/OSHA, and the local health department related to COVID-19 hazards and prevention.
  • Evaluate existing COVID-19 prevention controls in our workplace and the need for different or additional controls.
  • Conduct periodic inspections as needed to identify unhealthy conditions, work practices, and work procedures related to COVID-19 and to ensure compliance with our COVID-19 policies and procedures.

Employees and their authorized employees' representatives are encouraged to participate in the identification and evaluation of COVID-19 hazards as they enter back into the workplace.  Please make your supervisor aware of any conditions that may need to be addressed.  Unsafe or unhealthy work conditions, practices or procedures will be documented and corrected in a timely manner based on the severity of the hazards.

Attachment A - Supervisor/Dean's Risk Assessment


Office Spaces and Student Areas

At Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD), it is our priority to keep our employees and students safe and healthy to the extent possible, especially in the midst of the COVID‐19 pandemic.  As stay-at-home orders are modified, it is essential that all possible steps be taken to ensure the safety of workers and the public. 


Supervisors need to complete a Risk Assessment of their areas and implement precautions to ensure that you minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at work. A risk assessment is a systematic method of looking at activities, considering how your employees might spread and be exposed to COVID-19 while at work, and deciding on suitable control measures. These control measures are designed to eliminate, reduce or control the risks of transmission to employees and others.

To assess these risks you need to do the following.

1. Identify the hazards.

2. Establish who might be harmed and how.

3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.


Identify hazards and who might be harmed

You need to have a good understanding of how the virus transmits to be able to identify areas of concern within your work area. This includes how it transmits between individuals (respiratory droplets) and contact routes.

​Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions

To help you decide between precautions you should use this hierarchy of controls

  1. Eliminate transmission
  2. Reduce transmission
  3. Control transmission 
  4. Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    1. Eliminate

    Eliminating the risk altogether should be your first option. These are some measures that you can take:
  • Continue to let employees work remotely. 
  • Workers who are sick or are showing signs of  COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and not come to work. Make sure that you regularly remind employees on symptoms and further actions.

     2. Reduce

    When elimination of the risk is not possible then you should reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace. Here are some measures that you can take:

    Key prevention practices include:
  • physical distancing to the maximum extent possible,
  • use of face coverings by employees, students and visitors,
  • frequent handwashing and regular cleaning and disinfection,

     ​Physical Distancing Guidelines

Physical distancing is recommended by health authorities as the most effective single method of avoiding the spread and contraction of COVID-19. The primary objective of the procedures and guidelines for re-opening District facilities for employees and students is to ensure proper physical distancing in classrooms and offices.

Classroom capacity must be significantly reduced to accomplish 6' of social distancing.  The District Facilities Planning Department conducted a study and they have determined that in order to maintain the 6-foot distance protocol, class sizes will need to be reduced based on a square footage per student basis.   The new occupant load will be based on the following criteia:

  • General classrooms with portable seating - 60 square feet per student
  • Lecture halls with fixed seating - 85 square feet per student
  • Laboratories - 100 square feet per student
  • Computer labs - 85 square feet per student

​There are unique situations to classroom spaces and strict application of such guidelines may not be conducive for every space.  Therefore, individual site assessments need to be completed to make a final recommendation on how many seats you will be allowed to be occupied for the space

Ensure >6ft between individuals

  • Ensure separation of 6   feet or more between individuals
  • Stagger work schedules, lunch and break times, regulating maximum number of people in one place and ensuring at least 6 feet of physical distancing
  • Physical partitions should be used to separate workstations that cannot be spaced out
  • Consider installing plexiglass barriers at high-visited areas such as reception desks and check-in points where 6 feet of separation is difficult to maintain.
  •  Redesign work stations to ensure physical distancing (e.g., separate tables) 
  • Use distance markers on the ground, such as painter's tape to assure proper 6 foot spacing.
  • Remove chairs or tape them off to ensure proper physical distancing in conference rooms, waiting areas, classrooms, computer labs, or in the Library.
  • Post maximum occupancy in common break areas, conference rooms and configure to accommodate appropriate physical distancing.
  • Manage the flow of the pedestrian traffic in certain areas by appointment times or windows to limit visitors or walk ins
  • If students or staff must use a queue line, use distance markers on the floor to ensure 6 feet of separation
  • Limit visitors where feasible, and avoid congregation in common areas (e.g., lobbies)

Face Coverings

The District requires all employees, students and visitors to wear face coverings while in public or in shared spaces on campus or in the office unless doing so would damage their health.

  • Disposable masks and cloth face coverings will be distributed to departments through their administration/manager and will be provided to all employees.  Employees can wear their own masks. Employees needing a mask should request one from their supervisor.
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own masks.  Students who forget their mask may obtain a disposable mask by requesting one from their instructor.
  • Visitors are required to supply their own masks, but we will have masks on-hand if they should forget their own. 


Apply robust hygiene protocols

  • Encourage frequent handwashing
  • Install hand sanitizers throughout the facility.  Hand sanitizers should be placed at the entrance to buildings and in common areas where hand washing stations are not readily available.
  • Require regular and not less than daily cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch areas such as workstations, door handles, and restrooms
  • Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers of the hygiene and safety protocols
    3 Administrative Controls
  • Limit the number of people in common spaces.  Consider reservation systems for student areas such as the Library, computer labs and tutoring spaces.
  • Limit the number of individuals riding in an elevator and ensure the use of face coverings. Post signage regarding these policies.
  • Limit the use of shared objects or have a plan in place to disinfect between uses.
  • Post behavioral signage and markings.  Temporary, COVID-specific signage and markings will be added to each building. These serve to inform and remind community members and visitors alike of required measures to help prevent spread of the novel coronavirus. The need for signage is determined as part of the reopen planning process for each campus building. Pre-designed signs will be available from Publications through the district website:
    • Stay home when you are sick (or leave work immediately) and notify your supervisor
    • Wear a face covering in public.
    • Wash hands frequently.
    • Maintain physical distance: stay 6 feet apart at all times.

Supervisor/Dean's Facilities Assessment – Return to Work

Department:  ________________________  

Building:  __________________________   Floor:  ________________

Room #:  _________________

All persons, regardless of symptoms or negative COVID-19 test results, will be considered potentially infectious.  Particular attention will be paid to areas where people may congregate or come in contact with one another, regardless of whether employees are performing an assigned work task or not. For example:  meetings, entrances, bathrooms, hallways, aisles, walkways, elevators, break or eating areas, cool-down areas, and waiting areas.

Evaluation of potential workplace exposure will be to all persons at the workplace or who may enter the workplace, including coworkers, students, employees of other entities, members of the public, customers or clients. We will consider how employees and other persons enter, leave, and travel through the workplace, in addition to addressing fixed work locations.

Supervisors/Deans should complete a risk assessment of their areas.  For classroom spaces / student areas, determine which spaces will be used during the semester and complete and risk assessment of those areas.  If certain rooms will not be used during the semester due to remote instruction, you will not need to complete an assessment of that area.


Exposure ControlsComments
Barriers/partitions (In place where social distancing can't be achieved) 
Physical distancing (signage/markers.  Remove seats, post max occupancy signs) 

Surface cleaning and disinfection

(frequency and adequate supplies)

Hand washing/sanitizing facilities (adequate numbers and supplies) 
Disinfecting solutions being used according to manufacturer instructions (training, contact time) 
PPE (not shared, available and being worn) 
Face coverings (adequate supplies, cleaned sufficiently often) 
Gloves (adequate supplies – if needed) 
Access to buildings limited – (staggered shifts, reservation system for students/public)