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On his first full day in office, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order, Protecting Worker Health and Safety, which directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to take additional measures related to protecting workers from COVID-19. Referring to the health and safety of workers as a national priority and moral imperative, the Executive Order calls for OSHA to issue revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, consider whether an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 is necessary, review current OSHA enforcement efforts related to COVID-19, and launch a national program to focus OSHA enforcement efforts related to COVID-19 on violations that put the largest number of workers at serious risk.
The New Administration has directed OSHA to consider and issue any new COVID-19 requirements or standards by March 15, 2021. The New OSHA requested Guidelines have not been submitted on the proposed deadline!
In light of the Executive Order. OSHA has provided some guidance for Employers. employers must be prepared for enhanced federal OSHA enforcement efforts. The national program required by the Executive Order would likely take the form of a National Emphasis Program (NEP), which focuses OSHA’s enforcement resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. Additionally, OSHA is expected to issue a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) by the March 15 deadline established in the Executive Order.
Any ETS will likely contain many, if not all, of the health and safety measures covered by the revised guidance, including a requirement for employers to develop and implement a COVID-19 prevention program.
This training will focus on what current and proposed requirements will be in place and what the Employer’s requirements are. Additionally, as part of the executive order, the Biden Administration directed OSHA to examine the need for revised or additional workplace safety standards in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, the executive order directed OSHA to conduct an independent review and consider the need for a new COVID-19 specific standard.
Following President Biden’s executive order on Protecting Worker Safety—which required OSHA to issue revised guidance to employers on COVID-19—OSHA recently issued its latest guidance,
The guidance emphasizes the use of a COVID-19 prevention program as “the most effective way” to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and identifies key elements an employer’s program should contain.
Areas Covered in the Session: