COVID-19/OSHA: Interim Enforcement Response Plan

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued an April 13th guidance memorandum titled:

Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)(“Memorandum”)

The Memorandum states it is intended to provide instructions and guidance to Area Offices and compliance safety and health officers for handling COVID-19:

  • Related complaints
  • Referrals
  • Severe illness reports

The guidance is intended to encompass all investigations and inspections specifically related to the workplace hazard of SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus causing the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Memorandum states that OSHA intends to:

  • Use its resources to fulfill mission essential functions (i.e., protecting workers)
  • Undertake an appropriate diligence to protect OSHA personnel

OSHA states that the interim procedures prescribed by the Memorandum are intended to:

. . . allow flexibility and discretion for our field offices to maximize OSHA’s impact in securing safe workplaces for workers in this evolving environment.

The Memorandum includes sections addressing background along with the general enforcement guidance. Further, five attachments are provided which include:

  • Specific Guidance for COVID-19 Enforcement
  • Sample Employer Letter for COVID-19 Activities
  • Sample Hazard Alert Letter for COVID-19 Inspection
  • Sample Alleged Violation Description (AVD) for Citing the General Duty Clause
  • Additional COVID-19-Related References

A copy of the Memorandum can be downloaded here.

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Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.
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