Virginia Set to Become First State to Adopt State-Wide Permanent COVID-19 Safety Standard

Arent Fox

Arent Fox

We’ve reported, at length, on Virginia’s first-in-the-nation, state-wide, temporary COVID-19 workplace safety standard linked below. That standard took effect on July 27, 2020, and will expire on January 26, 2021.

This week, Virginia’s Safety and Health Codes Board voted to adopt a proposed, state-wide permanent standard — another first in the nation — aimed at continuing the temporary standard’s protections beyond its expiration date.

In substance, the proposed permanent standard largely tracks its predecessor. Thus, like the temporary standard, the proposed permanent standard applies to all employers and workplaces subject to Virginia’s Occupational Safety and Health Plan. It contains mandates applicable to all covered employers. And, it contains additional mandates applicable to employers with hazards or job tasks classified as “very high,” “high,” or “medium” exposure risk to known or suspected sources of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

The proposed permanent standard is expected to take effect on January 27, 2021, the day after the temporary standard expires. Covered employers should familiarize themselves with the proposed permanent standard’s requirements. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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