OSHA to Expand COVID-19 Inspections Under New NEP
This NEP goes immediately into effect, so employers need to start planning now for coronavirus-related site inspections.
Site SelectionBefore the NEP’s publication, OSHA would conduct unprogrammed COVID-19–related inspections at worksites where employees have a high frequency of “close contact” exposures, as defined by CDC. This may include hospitals, urgent care facilities, and other healthcare or general industry worksites that work directly with COVID-19–positive persons or substances.
These unprogrammed inspections will continue under the new NEP. The NEP adds programmed inspections for certain healthcare and general industry worksites in “Essential Critical Infrastructure.”
These are a few of the primary targeted facilities for programmed inspections:
- Meat/poultry processing plants
- Animal slaughtering services (excluding poultry)
- General warehousing and storage sites
- Home healthcare services
- Assisted living facilities
OSHA will include other facilities as well based on their NAICS code. Secondary industries added to the programmed inspections list include:
- Chemical manufacturing
- Heavy and civil engineering construction
- Metal manufacturing
- Agriculture and food/beverage manufacturing
OSHA is expected to begin inspection proceedings immediately with targeting to begin on March 26 at the earliest. This NEP does not affect the timing of unprogrammed inspections, which are expected to continue as usual.
Programmed inspections will follow a multi-step approach:
- Prior to inspection, a Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) will check the employer’s citation and fatality/ accident history.
- Once the inspection begins, the CSHO will determine whether any work practices may result in worker exposures to SARS-CoV-2.
- Then, the CSHO will interview the employer and employees and review the site’s injury and illness logs for 2020 and 2021 to identify any work-related cases of COVID-19.
If the CSHO finds no evidence of work assignments, recorded cases, or reports of positive or suspected COVID-19 exposures resulting in lost work time, hospitalizations, or fatalities, then the CSHO may conclude the inspection. Otherwise, the CSHO shall proceed with a walkaround and will cite any COVID-19–safety-related violations observed. Any other health hazards observed may be referred for follow-up inspections.
What Might OSHA Inspectors Cite?In previous COVID-19–related inspections, CSHOs most frequently issued citations for alleged violations of the following OSHA Standards:
- Respiratory protection (29 CFR 1910.134)
- Injury and illness reporting and recordkeeping (29 CFR 1904)
- Bloodborne pathogens (1910.1030(c)–(g))
- PPE general requirements (1910.132(d)(1))
Lion launched the COVID-19 Employee Safety Awareness Online Course to help US workplaces re-open safely. As facilities nationwide begin to do so, it is crucial that employees know how to protect themselves and their co-workers from exposure to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Safety Awareness Online Training
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.
Lion does a great job summarizing and communicating complicated EH&S-related regulations.
Sr. Environmental Engineer
The price was reasonable, the time to complete the course was manageable, and the flexibility the online training allowed made it easy to complete.
Hazmat Shipping Professional
I can take what I learned in this workshop and apply it to everyday work and relate it to my activities.
As always, Lion never disappoints
Amazing instructor; real-life examples. Lion training gets better every year!
I really enjoy your workshops. Thank you for such a great program and all the help Lion has provided me over the years!
Hazardous Material Pharmacy Technician
Our instructor was very dynamic and kept everyone's interest. Hazmat shipping can be a dry, complicated topic but I was engaged the entire time.
Senior Director of EH&S
I have been to other training companies, but Lion’s material is much better and easier to understand.
I was able to present my scenario to the instructor and worked thru the regulations together. In the past, I attended another training firm's classes. Now, I have no intention of leaving Lion!
Senior Environmental Engineer
I chose Lion's online webinar because it is simple, effective, and easily accessible.
Environmental Health & Safety Technician
Download Our Latest Whitepaper
This guide will help you identify 25 of the most -cited errors in RCRA training, recordkeeping, hazardous waste ID, container management, universal waste, and laboratories.