OSHA has released Emergency Standard Protocol (ETS) for the safety of Healthcare Workers on June 10,2021. OSHA has also updated new COVID-19 guidelines dated June 10,2021 that apply to all employers and workers in other industries. The employers are encouraged to follow the guidance with all CDC and local guidelines as well.
Salient features of the updated guidance are as follows:
- The guidance ensures to protect workers who are still not vaccinated, with a special emphasis on other industries noted for prolonged close contacts like meat processing, manufacturing, seafood, and grocery and high-volume retail.
- It requires workplaces to ensure use of face masks or respirators and use of gloves, maintain physical distancing, clean and disinfect per CDC guidelines, properly ventilate work areas, screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms, and train employees, among other measures.
- It states that employers not covered by the ETS no longer need to provide protections where all employees in a workplace (or a well-defined area of a workplace) are fully vaccinated.
- It provides granting paid time off for employees to get vaccinated.
- Instructing all employees to stay home when infected and unvaccinated employees to stay home when coming into contact with infected individuals.
- Implementing physical distancing for unvaccinated and at-risk employees.
- Providing masks for unvaccinated and at-risk employees.
- Providing employee training.
- Performing routine cleaning and disinfection.
- Encouraging mask use by unvaccinated visitors.
- Maintaining ventilation systems.
- Prohibiting retaliation.
*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.