OSHA Submits Emergency COVID-19 Rule For Approval

Posted on 4/28/2021 by Roger Marks

OSHA delivered its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval this week.

The Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) will likely move through this process faster than most new OSHA rules. If approved, the Final Rule may appear in the Federal Register within weeks.

Lion continues to monitor the progress of the Federal COVID-19 ETS, as well as state-level health and safety standards related to COVID-19 workplace exposure.

In February, Lion News reviewed existing state programs, previous OSHA rulemaking efforts, current COVID-19 enforcement trends, and the latest guidance to explore what a national COVID-19 Standard might look like. 

Very soon, it seems, we will know for sure what's in the new ETS.  

Why Is OSHA Creating a COVID-19 Standard Now?

On his second day in office, January 21, 2021, President Joe Biden ordered OSHA to consider creating emergency worker protections to address the risk of COVID-19 workplace exposure in Executive Order “Protecting Workers Health and Safety.”

While OSHA was ordered to create the new requirements by March 15, in early April they announced plans to delay the Standard in order to consider new information regarding the state of vaccinations and virus variants.

Updated COVID-19 Guidance, More Enforcement

Earlier this year, OSHA released updated, more robust guidance for employers to help protect workers from COVID-19 exposure on the job. The guidance encourages employers to implement a coronavirus prevention program and recommends essential elements of such a program.

OSHA COVID-19 Guidance (01/29/21)

OSHA launched a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) on March 12, which added new criteria for targeting healthcare and general industry worksites for inspection.

For the latest updates on COVID-19 that impact environmental, safety, and hazardous materials professionals, visit our COVID-19 EHS News Hub page.

COVID-19 Safety Awareness Online Training

To help US workplaces safely resume and continue operations, Lion launched the COVID-19 Employee Safety Awareness Online Course. The course is designed to help satisfy training mandates for employees concerning COVID-19. 

The course prepares employees to:
  • Recognize signs, symptoms, and risk factors for COVID-19
  • Describe how the COVID-19 disease is transmitted
  • Follow recommended hygiene and work protocols to prevent exposure
  •  Properly use and care for PPE and face coverings, when required 
This self-paced online course is updated continuously to reflect evolving information on COVID-19 workplace exposure. As more employees nationwide return to work, it is crucial that they know how to protect themselves and their co-workers from exposure to COVID-19.

Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, osha, SARS-CoV-2, workplace safety

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