South Carolina OSHA Adopts COVID-19 Health Care Rules

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As reported in EmployNews, the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration previously announced that it would not implement the federal OSHA COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) for health care employers. Instead, the agency announced its intent to promulgate its own infectious disease standard. After several months passed without any proposed rulemaking, federal OSHA initiated a procedure that could have resulted in South Carolina (and two other states) losing authority to enforce their own state OSHA programs.

Perhaps in response to this move, the SCOSHA website now includes an alert notifying employers of the state agency’s decision to adopt the federal health care ETS. This move should end the federal OSHA review of the state plan’s authority. Assuming that the more general OSHA COVID-19 vaccinate-or-test mandate survives judicial review, this decision may forecast SCOSHA’s response to that rulemaking as well.

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