OSHA Releases Updated COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Healthcare Workplaces

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released updated COVID-19 workplace guidelines. Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace applies to non-healthcare industries to identify risks to workers who are still not vaccinated or otherwise at risk, with special emphasis on industries with prolonged close contact, including meat processing, manufacturing, seafood, and grocery and high-volume retail. The guidance states that most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their fully vaccinated workers from COVID-19 exposure, unless otherwise required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations. Employers should determine how to implement multi-layered interventions to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees, including providing paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects.

An Appendix lists measures appropriate for higher-risk workplaces with ixed-vaccination-status workers.