OSHA Issues COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard

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Does OSHA’S COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard Apply to My Business?
June 17, 2021

Upset and tired surgeon sitting on floor in hospital corridor. Exhausted and stressed medical worker in scrubs and safety mask resting on floor in hallay

An Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) has been issued by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which aims to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19.  After the ETS effective date, covered healthcare employers must develop and implement a COVID-19 plan.

The 916 page ETS rule ( Occupational Exposure to COVID-19; Emergency Temporary Standard (osha.gov) ) has been submitted to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for publication and is currently pending placement on public inspection at the OFR and publication in the Federal Register.  The standard exempts from coverage certain workplaces where all employees are fully vaccinated and individuals with possible COVID-19 are prohibited from entry.  It also exempts from some of the requirements of the standard fully vaccinated employees in well-defined areas where there is no reasonable expectation that individuals with COVID-19 will be present.

OSHA justifies the issuance of an emergency standard through the determination that an ETS is necessary because those working in the healthcare settings are in grave danger and states vary substantially in how each has had addressed the protection of workers. You will have an opportunity to submit comments soon.

In addition to issuing the ETS, OSHA also issued new guidance for all industries:   Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)

 

NOTE:  As of June 16, 2021 the following disclaimer was still in effect:

Disclaimer: This final rule has been submitted to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for publication, and is currently pending placement on public inspection at the OFR and publication in the Federal Register. This version of the final rule may vary slightly from the published document if minor technical or formatting changes are made during the OFR review process. Only the version published in the Federal Register is the official final rule.

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