Archives: COVID-19

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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

Navigating Employer Obligations to Provide Employees with Masks, Face Coverings

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to study COVID-19, the agency is regularly updating guidance on precautionary measures to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the United States. The agency has expanded its recommended precautions to include “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain” … Continue Reading

OSHA Outlines Discretion in Issuing Citations During Coronavirus Pandemic based on Employer’s Good Faith Efforts

On April 16, 2020, OSHA issued an Enforcement Memorandum directed to Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees giving them Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer’s Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.  Under the Memo, OSHA acknowledges that some “employers may face difficulties complying with OSHA standards due to the ongoing … Continue Reading

OSHA Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19 Matters

On April 13, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced an Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports. While OSHA has issued several enforcement memorandums on COVID-19 related issues in recent weeks, this guidance is specifically directed to OSHA’s Area Offices on conducting investigations … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues COVID-19 Alert Identifying Safety Tips for Package Delivery Workers

In light of the ongoing safety concerns related to COVID-19, OSHA issued an alert identifying various voluntary safety measures that employers can take to keep package delivery workers safe from exposure to coronavirus.  OSHA’s safety tips included: Establishing flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts) where feasible; Minimizing interaction between drivers and customers by leaving deliveries … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance on Recording COVID-19 Cases

Today, OSHA issued long over due guidance relating to the recordability of COVID-19 cases for employers.  In short, OSHA has stated that it will not enforce the recordkeeping standard,29 C.F.R. Part 1904, against the majority of employers due to the difficulty in determining whether an employee contracted COVID-19 at work unless there is objective evidence … Continue Reading
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