Environment Department Leading Majority Of State COVID-19 Rapid Responses

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Occupational Health and Safety Bureau ensuring workplaces take appropriate steps to protect workers

New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney joined Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during Thursday’s press conference to share data and resources related to rapid responses. The Environment Department is currently conducting over 80 percent of the state’s rapid responses.

“Our Occupational Health and Safety Bureau has always ensured safe work conditions for employees,” Secretary Kenney said. “The Bureau’s role in rapid responses today is no different, and we continue to work harder than ever to protect New Mexicans in the workplace.”

Rapid responses are conducted at businesses where an employee or employees test positive for COVID-19. More than 800 rapid responses have been conducted throughout New Mexico so far. When the state is notified of positive cases, the Occupational Health and Safety Bureau at the Environment Department, or other state agency, contacts the employer immediately to ensure they are taking appropriate steps to protect employees and customers against the further spread of COVID-19.

A rapid response usually requires employers to:

  • Temporarily cease operations.
  • Test some or all employees.
  • Retest employees at a later time.
  • Disinfect the workplace.
  • Ensure a safety plan that encompasses New Mexico’s COVID-Safe Practices is in place and implemented.

If you feel that your workplace is not adequately protecting its employees, please contact the Occupational Health and Safety Bureau at 505-476-8700 or email complaints.osha@state.nm.us. You will remain anonymous.

State rapid response data and other COVID-19 resources are available at https://www.env.nm.gov/nmed-resources-for-covid-19/.