OSHA Updated Guidance
On January 29, 2021, updated guidance entitled “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” was posted on OSHA’s website. As before, this guidance is not mandatory, but it does give some insight into what OSHA expects to include in an emergency temporary standard which the new Administration wants the agency to consider and potentially implement by March 15, 2021.
Most will be familiar with the elements in the guidance, but here are some of the significant new measures addressed:
- Employers should provide all workers with face coverings (i.e., cloth face coverings, surgical masks), unless their work task requires a respirator. Many states did not require this and OSHA did not previously recommend employers purchase masks.
- Make the COVID-19 vaccine available at no cost to eligible employees.
Do not distinguish between vaccinated workers and those who are not vaccinated for purposes of implementing safety measures.
- Minimize the effect of quarantine and isolations by implementing non-punitive policies and/or provide paid sick leave. Employers under 500 employees are encouraged to provide FFCRA leave which is still available (though not mandatory) through March 31, 2021.
- Provide guidance on screening and testing.
- Assign a workplace coordinator responsible for COVID-19 issues.
OSHA’s guidance related to Covid-19 continues to evolve and further changes are expected. If you have any questions, please contact Bob Lepp at firstname.lastname@example.org or another member of our Employment Law group.
Tue Feb 2, 8:24pm Share