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American Society of Safety Professionals is your source for insights on trends in the safety profession, including developments in safety management, worker safety, government and regulatory affairs and standards.


OSHA to Issue Additional COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

Sep 10, 2021

As part of an extensive, six-pronged strategy announced Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, the Biden Administration has directed OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that will require employers with more than 100 employees to require those individuals who come into a workplace or work site to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.

While the rate of vaccinations has increased around the U.S., in announcing the plan, the White House noted that nearly 80 million Americans eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet gotten their first shot. It is expected that the plan will require employers to provide paid time off for vaccination and any recovery time that may be required, similar to the requirements included in the current ETS for healthcare.

In a briefing on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, OSHA officials said they are working expeditiously to issue the standard in the coming weeks but did not provide a specific timeline. They said they are working to align the new ETS with the healthcare ETS and that it will not apply to fully remote workers. Key details, such as how vaccination will be verified, are being finalized as the agency develops the standard. It is expected that the standard will not address how employers implement or enforce their specific vaccination policies.

“President Biden’s plan to continue to combat COVID-19 this fall is comprehensive, science-based and relies on the power of the federal government working hand-in-hand with states, local communities, the private sector and all Americans to put this pandemic behind us,” the White House said.

Don Buckman

My opinion only. Over the last 19 months, OSHA’s involvement and direction regarding COVID 19 has been IMO haphazard and directionless, leading to credibility and efficacy issues regarding anything COVID 19. This is not to say this latest EO won’t materialize, but aside from legal challenges, political pressure, I do not see how OSHA will be able to enforce directly. The Federal government is already exempted itself from the mandates in several agencies. Go figure. In addition:

1) Early 2020 positive COVID 19 cases with employees being Recordable with OSHA removing the requirement May 2020.  2)Early 2020 Medical clearance and pulmonary functioning testing for masks (aka respirators) before being a CDC recommendation/requirement only to see language change to “cloth face coverings” and OSHA pulling back on this requirement

3) Early 2021 White House Executive order for OSHA to establish an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) by March 15, 2021 and not meeting that target till June 2021, only to apply the ETS to the Health Care Industry and provide “guidance” to General Industry and others.   

4) Early 2021 OSHA’s mandating the recording of vaccine adverse effects (if rising to medical treatment) if made mandatory by an employer, only to be revoked quietly by OSHA in May 2021.

Tracy Lawson
As safety professionals, we should be very concerned about the weaponizing of OSHA and the impact on the trust of our profession. This is a dynamic and every changing situation and COVID data is spun, sckewed and does not accurately address issues such as the fact you are listed as unvaccinated until 14 days after your second shot. THe unvaccinated, which also includes those who have natural immunity, are being forced, manipulated and coerced to put a vaccine into their bodies that is not fully tested. Approved does not mean safe. This is now being recommended for children? Please do your research and actually read the COMINARTY document which says it was not tested on those who had recovered from COVID. The CDC has changed their position so many times, I am in disbelief the amount of people who only repeat sound bites and do not read ALL the studies out there. Read all of the CDC recommendations and you will find statements that limit the conclusion. Look at Dr. Pierponts' recent study for some eye-opening Delta variant data based on CDC, Oxford and UK studies. Lets ensure TRUE safety is being achieved and stop using regulators to force people into bad medicine.
Jason Domangue

Well said Tracy Lawson.  I agree.  We should not be governed by executive orders that paint with a broad brush.  Many employees told me that due to the vaccine mandate they will be leaving our company of over 200 employees for employers that have less than 100 employees so that they can make their own decisions regarding their personal healthcare.  Unfortunately they are some of our safest and more health conscious employees and it burdens me to lose them.  I hope this mandate is somehow nullified. We should stay strong for our employees and their health no matter what side of the vaccine debate they are on.


Jeffrey Bowers
As if getting reliable data reporting from employers was not hard enough, now we get further ETS that pinches the many businesses trying to keep the American Gross Domestic National Product rates from killing the world supply chains further. Regardless of personal and political stance on the guidance and ETS provisioning, our duty as Safety Pro's is to seek out and prevent illness/injury and promote workplace/occupational safety and health through risk assessments, corrective actions, education, and good ole fashioned recordkeeping. This may just prove to be a temporary inconvenience vs a long-term set of regulating effects. Time will be the true test, but we must endure with confidence that our programs are performing. Some of us have a lane we need to remain focused on. Deviation of focus only leads to more energy wasted on things that we cannot change (in most circumstances). Frankly, I am exhausted just from the nightly news and have enough to worry about in my facilities world let alone the unknown future of a regulation that is still being penned by the legal scribes at OSHA. #safetyleadership #staypositive #ASSP
Bethany Graves
This new standard will set OSHA back to 1971.  It is not OSHA's responsibility, nor the employer's, nor the government's responsibility to direct private healthcare.  It is between a human being and their physician.  Whoever wanted to the vaccine has gotten it by now.  I am aware of many people who are looking for other jobs.  These vaccines are not proven or safe as is evident from the underreported VAERS system and doctor's all over the world.  The government (and I don't mean OSHA) needs to concentrate on treatment of illness instead of forcing people to take an unproven jab.  I am disgusted with OSHA, ASSP, CDC, NIOSH, and any other alphabet at this point.  Safety and health professionals, 2 years ago had I asked the CDC if I can mandate a cloth MASK for ANYTHING, do you really think they would say it is effective?  They would have said unequivocally 'No'.  What happens if an employee dies due to the COVID 19 jab, mandated by the employer?  That's a job related fatality, plain and clear.  What is OSHA going to do, bypass their own laws?   By the way, NO animals survived the initial testing of any of these vaccines.  Isn't that a concern for anyone?  #disgustedwiththesafetyfield

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