Archives: COVID-19

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OSHA Promulgates Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 for Healthcare Employers

Fifteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has promulgated an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for healthcare employers. OSHA has published voluntary guidance for other industries. To read this article in full, please click here.… Continue Reading

Despite Relaxed CDC COVID-19 Guidance, No Relaxing of Rules (Yet) in California, Virginia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has offered new COVID-19 guidance indicating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks or maintain physical distance from others in most settings. However, questions about employers’ compliance obligations and general duty expectations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) remain. For example, … Continue Reading

OSHA, States Lag Behind CDC Guidance Lifting Requirements for Vaccinated Workers

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered new COVID-19 guidance allowing fully vaccinated individuals to avoid wearing masks or socially distancing in most settings, employers have been pushing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state equivalents to embrace the change, but change is slow. To read the article in its entirety, please … Continue Reading

As California Targets June Reopening Cal/OSHA Considers Updating COVID-19 Standards

On May 20th, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board will consider changes to COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). The proposed changes would still require employers to have an established written COVID-19 Prevention Program (“CPP”) that covers everything from training and communication with employees to the investigation of COVID-19 cases in the workplace. However, there are notable proposed … Continue Reading

Without Much Ado, Cal OSHA Updates Guidance Regarding Vaccinated Individuals

As the federal government and state of California adjusted their COVID-19 guidance for vaccinated individuals, Cal OSHA remained silent on how vaccination affected the requirements under its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). While there had been discussions of revisions to the ETS, it was unclear if Cal OSHA would be able to release such revisions prior … Continue Reading

Inspector General Office Report Criticizes OSHA COVID-19 Enforcement, Pushes for COVID-19 Standard

Criticizing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) enforcement efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General (OIG) pushes for a COVID-19, virus-specific standard in its report issued on February 25, 2021. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.… Continue Reading

Continued Uptick in OSHA Requests for Information to Nursing Homes

Long-term care facilities have been hit hard by COVID-19. As we approach the one-year anniversary of this national emergency, many facilities have grown accustomed to the additional reporting and scrutiny. However, this climate has also made it easier for OSHA to target long-term care facilities. One of OSHA’s common tactics is using public records (e.g., … Continue Reading

Cal OSHA Offers Additional Guidance for Its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards: Testing Sites and Scope of Coverage

It has been three months since California approved the Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (“Cal OSHA”) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”). The rushed implementation of Cal OSHA’s ETS, which imposed new and confusing obligations on employers, left many scratching their heads and resulted in several legal challenges to the ETS. For example, some agricultural … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues New Guidance for Employers Combating COVID-19

On January 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.” The Guidance incorporates much of the existing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adds to guidance OSHA previously issued, and reflects strategies and practices familiar … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 Guidance in Compliance with President Biden’s Executive Order

As directed by President Joe Biden’s Executive Order issued on January 21, 2021 requiring the Federal Government to take swift action to protect workers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has released updated guidance on how to prevent exposure and the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The guidance entitled … Continue Reading

Virginia Passes Permanent Standard on COVID-19

The Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board enacted a Permanent Standard on COVID-19 in workplaces in a 9-4 vote on January 13, 2021. On July 15, 2020, Virginia became the first state in the nation to promulgate an Emergency Temporary Standard to address COVID-19 in workplaces. Even with vaccine deliveries on the way, Virginia has enacted … Continue Reading

What to Expect from OSHA Under the Biden Administration

President-Elect Joseph Biden has not named a nominee for Secretary of Labor yet, much less an Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health who would lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). But individuals with a background in organized labor may be forerunners. He has promised to be “the most pro-union president … Continue Reading

Will Virginia’s COVID-19 Pandemic Standard Become Permanent?

On July 15, 2020, Virginia became the first state in the nation to promulgate an Emergency Temporary Standard to address COVID-19 in workplaces. Even with vaccine deliveries on the way, Virginia has proposed a Permanent Standard for consideration by the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (which includes author Courtney Malveaux). To read the article in its … Continue Reading

New Virginia Executive Order Expands Face Covering Requirements, Restricts Gatherings

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has issued Executive Order Number Seventy-Two, expanding face covering requirements, reducing allowable social gatherings, and directing Virginians to remain at home after midnight. The Order also states that individuals who decline to wear a face covering due to a medical condition are not required to produce medical documentation verifying their stated condition(s) … Continue Reading

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

California Employers Now Have an Emergency Temporary Standard To Contend With

On November 19, 2020, California’s Department of Industrial Relations Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (“Board”) adopted a general safety order that, in effect, creates an emergency temporary standard specific to potential workplace coronavirus (“COVID-19”) exposures (“COVID-19 Prevention Rule” or “Rule”). While not the first state to adopt an emergency temporary standard (see our earlier … 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

Oregon OSHA Issues COVID-19 Temporary Rule

Stepping in line behind Virginia and Michigan, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Oregon OSHA”) issued a Temporary Rule Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks (“Temporary Rule”) requiring Oregon employers to take certain actions in response to potential workplace exposures to coronavirus (“COVID-19”). Some provisions of Oregon OSHA’s temporary rule go into effect on November 16, … 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
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