Archives: COVID-19

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OSHA Issues COVID-19 Respiratory Protection Guidance for Long Term Care Facilities

OSHA has issued guidance on personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and respiratory protection use in nursing home and long term care facilities (collectively “LTCFs”) to protect against COVID-19. In its recently issued guidance, OSHA sets forth additional detail about the strategies it believes LTCFs should consider when protecting employees from COVID-19.  As a preliminary reminder, although … Continue Reading

OSHA issues Guidance on Ventilation

As part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic in workplaces, OSHA continues to issue alerts and guidance designed to keep workers safe.  The most recent guidance issued by OSHA deals with ventilation in the workplace to help maintain a safe and healthy work environment. Under the guidance, OSHA recommends that employers … Continue Reading

MIOSHA Issues Temporary Emergency Rules for Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace

Following the October 2, 2020 Michigan Supreme Court decision invalidating Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic executive orders, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued temporary emergency rules to help control, prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Effective October 14, 2020, these rules apply to all employers currently covered by Michigan’s Occupational Health and … Continue Reading

Surgical Masks, Respirators, and More: Employers Grapple with Personal Protective Equipment Requirements Amid Constantly Evolving COVID-19 Guidance and Laws

Eight months into the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic and employers in both healthcare and non-healthcare settings are grappling with requirements for employees’ use of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and respiratory protection. Rather than clarify the requirements, continually evolving guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”), state safety … Continue Reading

Oregon OSHA Moves Forward with COVID-19 Temporary Standard

As circumstances from the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic continue to evolve, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has maintained reliance on Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”), known as the General Duty Clause, and current standards to address workplace exposures to COVID-19. Rather than engage in rulemaking, OSHA has … Continue Reading

Flip-flopping Guidance: The Saga Continues

Last week we wrote about government agencies’ tendencies to “flip-flop” on guidance related to preventing transmission and spread of coronavirus (“COVID-19”), and how this impacts employers’ ability to meet health and safety compliance obligations expectations and avoid regulatory liability. Underscoring these points, on Monday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) rolled out … Continue Reading

Virginia COVID-19 Restrictions and Workplace Standards Challenged by Manufacturers’ Association

A manufacturers’ association and several employers have filed a lawsuit to enjoin Virginia’s Emergency Temporary Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention related to COVID-19, which the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board adopted on July 15, 2020. To read the entire article, please click here.… Continue Reading

Have You Started Your COVID-19 Training and Infectious Disease Plan In Virginia?

Virginia recently enacted its Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19. The standard’s requirement that employers train workers came and went on August 26, 2020. Virginia Occupational Safety and Health expects employers to complete their Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plans no later than September 25, 2020. To view the complete article, please click here.… Continue Reading

House Members Promoting Legislation to Compel MSHA to Issue Emergency Temporary Standard for Pandemic Safety

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) has declined to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) to address pandemic safety for miners. MSHA determined that issuance of an ETS was unnecessary for COVID-19 because MSHA’s existing health and safety standards allow MSHA to require mine operators to take action to abate COVID-19 health hazards in … Continue Reading

OSHA Publishes, Then Withdraws, A Broad Position on Reporting COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Fatalities

OSHA quietly updated its COVID-19 FAQs in mid-July to add guidance that took an extremely broad (and arguably unenforceable) interpretation of an employer’s responsibility to report COVID-19 hospitalizations and fatalities.  Just as quietly, over the last weekend in July, it removed the updated Reporting FAQs.   Now employers are left to speculate whether the guidance is … Continue Reading

Mine Safety and Health Administration tells Federal Court that it is Issuing Citations for COVID-19 Health and Safety Violations

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the battle over when or if employers should be liable for personal injuries arising from coronavirus exposure allegedly caused during employment lurks on the horizon. The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently rejected a union’s request for the Court to compel the U.S. Department of Labor’s … Continue Reading

Greater Enforcement Coming? OSHA Issues Citations for Respirator Program Violations after Employees Were Hospitalized with COVID-19

In a new effort to use existing regulations to respond to the ongoing public health emergency, OSHA cited an Ohio healthcare company for alleged serious violations of OSHA’s respirator regulations. OSHA launched an investigation at three of the employer’s healthcare facilities after seven employees were hospitalized with COVID-19. Even though the employer provided the necessary … Continue Reading

The New Virginia Emergency Workplace Standard for COVID-19 Is Here

Virginia has published its highly anticipated first-in-the-nation emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers may obtain a copy by clicking here. If you have questions or need assistance in an OSHA or VOSH matter, please reach out to a member of the Jackson Lewis Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group.… Continue Reading

Virginia Passes First-In-Nation OSHA Standard for COVID-19

Employers wondering whether Virginia is the new California just got their answer: California has some catching up to do. In a split vote, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (which includes author Courtney Malveaux) passed a first-in-the-nation standard to address COVID-19 in workplaces. Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH), the state’s version of the … Continue Reading

OSHA Does Not Back Employee Work Refusals in All Circumstances

Since March 2020, workers have expressed elevated concerns about their exposure to COVID-19 on construction sites. As states lift restrictions on construction work, employers should note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limits workers’ ability to refuse work.   To read the full article, click here.… Continue Reading

New OSHA Guidance for Businesses Returning to Work

Late last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued new guidance for employers that are reopening their businesses and returning employees to work. Intended as a supplement to the agency’s earlier Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, this guidance does not offer any new recommended practices or strategies for minimizing and preventing the … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance on Prevention of COVID-19 Cases at Construction Sites

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance for construction industry employers to prevent spread of COVID-19. In addition to measures the agency suggests for all employers, the guidance includes a variety of preventive measures at construction sites, such as: Using Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance Clarifying Recording Obligations for COVID-19 Cases

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published new guidance requiring employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping standards to determine whether employees have contracted COVID-19 while at work. In an effort “to provide certainty to employers and workers,” beginning on May 26, 2020, the agency is requiring all employers to record all COVID-19 cases that: … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases New Guidance for Rideshare, Taxi, and Car Service Workers

On May 14, OSHA issued a short guidance document for the car and ride service industry to reduce risk of exposure to coronavirus for its workers.  The guidance is issued to rideshare, taxi, and car service workers, although many such drivers are independent contractors and not covered under OSHA’s jurisdiction.  Even for workers who are … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Alert for Retail Pharmacies with Suggestions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace

Guest Authored by Jim Verdi. On May 14, 2020, OSHA issued an “Industry-Specific Alert” for retail pharmacies that provides suggestions employers should implement to prevent the spread of COVID-19. OSHA’s Alerts do not have the force of formal regulations, so a failure to implement a specific suggestion cannot automatically serve as a basis for a … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Much-Needed COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Homes and Long-term Care Facilities

Guest Authored by Melanie Paul. With the nation’s most vulnerable population residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, OSHA on May 14, 2020, finally issued much-needed guidance for this industry. These facilities, deemed “ground zero” by former head of the Center for Disease Control, Dr. Tom Frieden, over two months ago, have been struggling … Continue Reading

OSHA Offers Carryout Guidance for Restaurateurs

With many restaurants limited to offering food and beverage carryout and curbside pickup options because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidelines suggesting best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To prevent exposures with customers, OSHA recommends that food and beverage vendors: Avoid direct hand-offs when possible; … Continue Reading

OSHA and CDC Issue Interim Guidance on COVID-19 for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers and Employers

Meat processing and packing facilities around the United States have emerged as hotspots for COVID-19.  While handling and processing meat and poultry does not expose workers to coronavirus, close contact with coworkers and supervisors may contribute to their potential exposures.  A number of facilities have had to temporarily close down operations due to outbreaks of … Continue Reading
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