After more than 15 months of legal, scientific, and business debate about whether an OSHA standard specific to COVID-19 is appropriate, OSHA recently issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) governing COVID-19 precautions in the healthcare setting.  OSHA has also updated its non-mandatory COVID-19 guidance for employers in all industries.

The ETS applies to settings “where any employee provides healthcare services or healthcare support services.”  The scope of the rule is significantly narrower than expected, leading to criticism by labor unions and worker advocates who argue that a broader standard is necessary, but celebration by business leaders who question the necessity of a regulation they say will impede economic growth as the pandemic winds down.

While employers in the healthcare and healthcare support industries may welcome some clarity after a year of chaos and uncertainty, they are likely to have questions about how to implement some of the requirements of the ETS.

 

Read more about requirements at the Labor & Employment Law Center.