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OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

Join SDAHO on July 12, 2021 at 12pm CST, as John Olaechea, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance Assistance Specialist, discusses the emergency temporary standard issued on June 21. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued this standard to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. The healthcare emergency temporary standard establishes new requirements and is aimed at protecting workers facing the highest coronavirus hazards — those working in healthcare settings where suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients are treated. This includes employees in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities; emergency responders; home healthcare workers; and employees in ambulatory care settings where suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients are treated. Employers must comply with most provisions within 14 days and with the remaining provisions within 30 days.

The standard will require non-exempt facilities to conduct a hazard assessment and have a written plan to mitigate virus spread, and requires healthcare employers to provide some employees with N95 respirators or other personal protective equipment. In addition, covered employers must ensure 6 feet of distance between workers. In situations where this is not possible, employers should erect barriers between employees where feasible.

The standard also requires covered employers to provide workers with paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects. Covered employees who have coronavirus or who may be contagious must work remotely or otherwise be separated from other workers if possible, or be given paid time off up to $1400 per week. For most businesses with fewer than 500 employees, tax credits in the American Rescue Plan may be reimbursed through these provisions.  Read the full press release here.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ensures safe and healthful working conditions for employees by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. 

If you are an employer with questions or need compliance assistance, please contact: John Olaechea, Compliance Assistance Specialist, 720-264-6586 or olaechea.john@dol.gov.

To register for the complimentary SDAHO hosted webinar on July 12, click here.  Continuing education will not be provided during this session.

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