OSHA Issues Workplace Guidance on Coronavirus

OSHA fulfills the first of two requirements set by President Biden in his Jan. 22 executive order with this new guidance.

OSHA announced that it issued stronger worker safety guidance relating to coronavirus prevention on Jan. 29.

This guidance arrives after President Biden issued an executive order that instructed OSHA to strengthen its safety recommendations for employers and workers, as well as consider whether an emergency coronavirus standard needs to be passed. With the “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” guidance, OSHA fulfills the first part of the expectations placed on the agency.

“OSHA is updating its guidance to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus and improve worker protections so businesses can operate safely and employees can stay safe and working,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick.

Some recommendations included in the guidance are conducting hazard assessments, identifying control measures to limit the spread of the virus and adopting policies that don’t punish workers for absences when they think they may have been infected. Though this new guidance is progress in enforcing protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at work, it is not known yet if OSHA will decide to issue an emergency standard by the March 15 deadline.

More information can be found at dol.gov.

About the Author

Nikki Johnson-Bolden is an Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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