OSHA Updates Guidance on Workplace COVID-19 Mitigation and Prevention

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OSHA Updates Guidance on Workplace COVID-19 Mitigation and Prevention

June 14, 2021

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated guidance intended to help employers and workers not covered by OSHA's COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to identify COVID-19 exposure risks to workers who are unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk.

Employers have been anticipating COVID-19 related regulatory action since January 21, 2021 when President Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 13999 on protecting worker health and safety. The EO directed OSHA to take action to reduce the risk that workers may contract COVID-19 in the workplace.

The ETS is available in pre-publication format with limited applicability to workers in healthcare settings. While the ETS is healthcare focused, all other workplace environments are subject to the OSHA guidance updated on June 10, 2021. and covers workers who are still not vaccinated with special emphasis on industries noted for prolonged close-contacts, including manufacturers.

The guidance emphasizes that employers are responsible for providing a safe and health workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm (see: OSHA Act of 1970, SEC. 5. Duties).

Except for workplace settings covered by OSHA's ETS and mask requirements for public transportation, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their workers from COVID-19 exposure in any workplace, or well-defined portions of a workplace, where all employees are fully vaccinated. Employers should still take steps to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces, or well-defined portions of workplaces


Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
Guidance for All Industries NOT covered by the Emergency Temporary Standard • Jun 10, 2021

US Department of Labor's OSHA issues emergency temporary standard to protect health care workers from the coronavirus
OSHA also releases new guidance for all Industries

OSHA Corona Disease (COVID-19) Website
Includes OSHA Requirements, Guidance, Highlights and Tools

OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Website
Includes Fact Sheet, FAQs, and Rule Applicability Flowchart

OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard
Subpart U — COVID-19 ETS • Submitted to Office of the Federal Register for publication