OSHA Issues COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The ETS applies to healthcare and healthcare support services workplaces, depending on the setting, type of service provided, level of potential risk, and whether or not employees are fully vaccinated. To determine whether and how your workplace is covered by the ETS, refer to the OSHA flowchart.

The ETS includes requirements for covered employers to:

  • Develop and implement a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan (in writing if more than 10 employees)
  • Follow CDC guidelines for transmission-based precautions and cleaning and disinfection
  • Screen employees prior to shifts
  • Screen patients
  • Provide and require employees to wear PPE
  • Ensure 6 feet distance or erect barriers between employees
  • Provide paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects
  • Train all employees on COVID-19 transmission, policies and procedures
  • Keep a record of all employee instances of COVID-19 (if employer has more than 10 employees)
  • Report work-related COVID-19 fatalities within 8 hours of learning of the fatality and in-patient hospitalizations within 24 hours of learning of the hospitalization to OSHA
  • Implement all requirements at no cost to employees

The ETS is effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register on June 21, 2021. Employers must comply with most provisions within 14 days and with the remaining provisions within 30 days. OSHA will use its discretion to avoid citing employers who miss a compliance deadline but are making a good faith effort to comply with the ETS. For more information, see the Fact Sheet or the complete Rule.