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DOL to continue reviewing OSHA's pandemic response until 2022



The National Board of Occupational Safety and Health's response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be reviewed by the Department of Labor & # 39 ;s Office of Inspector General, which stated in a report issued on Thursday that more federal dollars will help continue its revision until 2022.

The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March, provided the Office of Inspector General with an additional $ 12.5 million to conduct additional pandemic-focused surveillance activities, which will include a focus on OSHA activities.

Previously issued in a separate report in February, the inspector's OSHA review found that "increased complaints, reduced inspections and the degree of remote controls carried out exposed the country's workforce to greater security risks." The report also stated that OSHA had not issued a temporary emergency response ̵

1; a step considered imminent as OSHA is now awaiting approval of a final draft of a safety standard for COVID-19 – "which may have better protected the health and safety of the workforce during the pandemic". . "That review also highlighted concerns about protection against whistleblowers.

“As a result of our review, OSHA is improving its inspection strategy by prioritizing high-risk employers for on-site COVID-19-related inspections and conducting further analysis to determine if an infectious disease is emerging. "Specific temporary emergency standards are needed to help control the spread of COVID-19," the latest report states, highlighting potential focus for future phases of the audit.

To be completed by October 2022, the Inspector General's Office aims to examine the effectiveness of the supervision of high – risk industries and corrective action taken in response to the original report on OSHA's whistleblower complaints. Other approaches will include OSHA's effectiveness of the COVID-19 National Emphasis Program and its impact on complaints and referrals to OSHA's activities and whether the adequacy and timeliness of job reporting measures has been taken, according to the report.

More insurance and workers compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here .

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