OSHA Reopens Record, Seeks Comments on Final Rule to Protect Healthcare Workers from Covid-19

OSHA Reopens Record, Seeks Comments on Final Rule to Protect Healthcare Workers from Covid-19

OSHA is set on continuing to create a rule to protect healthcare workers from workplace exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reopened the rule making record partially and scheduled an informal public hearing to seek comments on specific topics that relate to the development of a final standard to protect healthcare workers from workplace exposure to Covid-19.

According to a press release, individuals who are interested in testifying at the hearing must submit their notice of intention to appear no later than 14 days after the publication of the Federal Register Notice. The hearing is currently scheduled for April 27, 2022 and will take place online.

Interested parties can also submit comments online, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2020-0004. Written commons must be submitted by the deadline of April 22, 2022.

Back in June of 2021, OSHA issued an emergency temporary standard to protect healthcare workers from occupational exposure to Covid-19. The ETS, which also served as a proposed rule, focused on healthcare workers most likely to have contact with people infected with the virus.

The agency is reopening the record to allow for new data and comments on the following topics:

  • Alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for healthcare infection control procedures.
  • Additional flexibility for employers.
  • Removal of scope exemptions.
  • Tailoring controls to address interactions with people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  • Employer support for employees who wish to be vaccinated.
  • Limited coverage of construction activities in healthcare settings.
  • COVID-19 recordkeeping and reporting provisions.
  • Triggering requirements based on community transmission levels.
  • The potential evolution of SARS-CoV-2 into a second novel strain.
  • The health effects and risk of COVID-19 since the ETS was issued.

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