Update On OSHA’s Development Of Permanent COVID-19 Standard For Healthcare Industry

Volume: 21 | Issue: 19
March 30, 2022

As part of its efforts to develop a permanent COVID-19 standard for the healthcare industry, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is accepting public comments and has scheduled an informal public hearing for April 27, 2022.

As you know, OSHA enacted an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to protect healthcare workers from exposure to COVID-19 on June 21, 2021. This ETS, which also served as a proposed rule, expired in December 2021. OSHA announced on December 27, 2021, that it planned to use the proposed rule of the ETS to develop a final permanent standard to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19.

Because public comment on the ETS’ proposed rule had expired, OSHA has reopened the public comment window to consider “new data and comments on specific topics,” such as whether to align the standard with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for healthcare infection control procedures, whether to trigger requirements based on community transmission levels, and whether to provide additional flexibility for employers. For more information about these topics and details on how to submit comments or attend the public hearing, click here.

In the meantime, healthcare employers are required to “continue to comply with their obligations under the General Duty Clause, Personal Protective Equipment and Respiratory Protection Standards.” Many healthcare employers are covered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ vaccine mandate, and all Nevada healthcare employers are required to follow NV OSHA’s recently updated requirements. If you have questions about these requirements or OSHA’s rulemaking procedures, please contact a KZA attorney. 

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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