Fulfilling a promise made early in the Biden Administration, on June 10, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) related to COVID-19. However, the ETS applies only to healthcare and healthcare support service workers in settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present. Although this ETS applies only to specific healthcare settings, OSHA also has released an updated version of its COVID-19 guidance to employers, which is applicable to other covered workplaces.
The ETS now provides regulatory requirements that covered health care employers must meet, and OSHA no longer has to rely on existing safety standards or informal guidance to find COVID-19-related health and safety violations by such employers. The general industry guidance, on the other hand, is not mandatory; it is advisory only.
For more detailed information on employer obligations under the ETS, and OSHA’s updated guidance, see our full Legal Alert.