OSHA Announces Focused Enforcement Effort at Hospitals Treating Covid-19

OSHA Announces Focused Enforcement Effort at Hospitals Treating Covid-19

The agency will increase the amount of inspections at hospitals and nursing home facilities that treat Covid-19 patients in an effort to curb the spread of the virus among employees in healthcare.

Many Americans have started to see the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, but for those in healthcare, the threat of transmission is still present.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced an enforcement memorandum for a short-term increase in highly focused inspections directed at hospitals and skilled nursing care facilities that treat or handle Covid-19 patients.

The agency said in a press release that it recognizes the need to prepare for any new variants and provide healthcare workers the protections that they deserve. OSHA’s goal? To expand its presence to ensure continued mitigation of the virus and its spread.

“We are using available tools while we finalize a healthcare standard,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “We want to be ahead of any future events in healthcare.”

The increased enforcement will take place for a three-month period between March 9, 2022 and June 9, 2022. Through the initiative, the agency will verify and assess hospitals and nursing care employers’ compliance actions, including their readiness to address any ongoing or future Covid-19 surges.

The agency said that this initiative supplements their targeted enforcement under the Revised Covid-19 National Emphasis Program by conducting focused follow-up and monitoring inspections of previously inspected or investigated hospitals and skilled nursing care facilities where COVID-19 citations or Hazard Alert Letters were issued.

This initiative and the revised Covid-19 National Emphasis Program would comprise 15 percent of OSHA’s enforcement activity.

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