On Thursday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published the details of its long-awaited temporary emergency, which it says will only apply to healthcare professionals.
The Agency said it will follow up with separate guidance for workers in sectors such as manufacturing, meat and shellfish processing, the food industry and retail.
ETS, which has been submitted to the Federal Register Office, includes such requirements as sanitation, sick leave or vaccinations, retaliation measures, and personal protective equipment when working with COVID-19 patients. The guidance is very similar to the rules issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in a media lecture
on Thursday that the ETS is "in line with science and the latest health guidance" and that "the requirements will be known to the people."
for all industries, Walsh said, "science says that health care professionals, especially those who come into regular contact with the virus, are most vulnerable to the pandemic."
Jim Frederick, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Safety at Work The number of complaints received by OSHA has stemmed from healthcare settings.
The 44-page ETS provides information on mask-wearing and other personal protective equipment, which Frederick called "nuanced" and depending on the attitude and work performed; reporting and tracking requirements for workers have been exposed to COVID-1
The ETS does not apply to “well-defined hospital settings for hospitals where all employees are fully vaccinated and all non-employees are screened before entry and persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may not enter these settings.
The ETS also calls on employers in healthcare settings to encourage staff vaccinations.
OSHA stated in fact that the ETS will enter into force immediately after publication in the Federal Registry and will remain in place until "OSHA finds a serious threat from the virus no longer exists for the covered workforce (or any part thereof)," or new information indicates a change in the necessary measures to deal with the serious danger. “It is also subject to updates.
The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health said in a statement that the new ETS, which follows an executive order in January from President Joe Biden that OSHA will create a standard by March 15 if it deems it necessary, represents a "missed opportunity". "to protect everyone
" Health care workers who have saved lives during this pandemic deserve full protection – and so do all other workers who provide us with food, protection, sanitation and everything else we need, "the statement said.
Mr. Walsh said on Thursday that the delay in creating the ETS occurred so that OSHA could "take time to get this right for the workers."
The American Society of Safety Professionals released a statement analyzing the ETS and "supporting efforts" by OSHA to protect healthcare professionals across the country from the spread of the virus. The temporary emergency standard is a necessary measure that will to help employers across the healthcare sector take important steps to better protect some of our most vulnerable workers and ultimately save lives. ”
More insurance and work compensation news on coronavirus crisis here .