January 25, 2021

OSHA Directed To Come Up With New COVID-19 Workplace Guidance

On Thursday, January 21, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling on U.S. Department of Labor regulators to issue stronger guidance for workplaces operating in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, the executive order directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to consider issuing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) by March 15, 2021 and to update employer guidance focused on protecting workers from COVID-19. OSHA has the authority to issue an emergency standard that will take effect immediately if it deems that workers are in “grave danger … and an emergency standard is needed to protect them.”

President Biden’s order also directs OSHA to review and make necessary changes to enforcement efforts and to coordinate with states to ensure that all workers are covered by any new OSHA standards or rules.

The National Association of Manufacturers has created a fact sheet that explains what employers can expect if OSHA decides to put an ETS in place. Click here to read that information.