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Secretary Walsh Puts Temporary Hold on OSHA's COVID-19 Emergency Standard

Apr 07, 2021
Three weeks have passed since the March 15 deadline OSHA was given to determine the need to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) on COVID-19. According to a Bloomberg Law news report, new Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh has instructed OSHA to hold the ETS to confirm that it reflects the latest scientific data and CDC guidance.

On Jan. 29, OSHA issued stronger safety guidance to help employers implement coronavirus protection programs and identify risks that could lead to exposure. "Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” identifies several actions employers should incorporate into their COVID-19 prevention programs, including conducting a hazard assessment, identifying appropriate controls to limit the spread of the virus and effective communication strategies related to their policies and procedures.

It is expected the ETS will include similar requirements and may also include elements from the standards enacted in several states, including Virginia, Oregon and Michigan.

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