On June 10, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19 in healthcare settings. If you’re an employer in the healthcare context, that announcement certainly got your attention. But if you’re not in the healthcare setting, keep reading—don’t let OSHA’s other announcement slip under the radar. On the same day, OSHA also issued revised guidance for non-healthcare settings. While this guidance is advisory, it is nevertheless important for employers to consider when updating health and safety plans. Below we highlight notable points from the ETS and the revised guidance.
It is important to recognize that OSHA’s guidance is not a roadmap for a particular workforce. It provides recommendations, but you should determine what is necessary based on the jurisdictions in which you operate and the contexts in which your employees work. For example, the guidance does not tell you exactly what to do if you’re in California versus Iowa, or if you have factory workers versus office workers. Ultimately, you should take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of your workers given the relevant context.