OSHA Issues ETS for Healthcare Industry, Updates General Guidance

On June 10, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ETS specifically targets the healthcare industry and the high exposure rates associated with those occupations. This includes “employees in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities; emergency responders; home health care workers; and employees in ambulatory care settings where suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients are treated.”

While many of CWS’s members are not directly affected by the ETS, CWS will file comments on the ETS and raise our concerns with several key issues that we believe are precedential.

Additionally, OSHA updated its COVID-19-related guidance for general industry, “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.” The updates are intended to “help employers and workers in other industries protect workers who are still not vaccinated, with a special emphasis on other industries noted for prolonged close-contacts like meat processing, manufacturing, seafood, and grocery and high-volume retail.”