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Volume XII, Number 183


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OSHA Taking Comments on Proposed Permanent Healthcare COVID-19 Standard

OSHA has partially reopened the rulemaking record and scheduled an informal public hearing to seek comments on several topics relating to the development of a final standard to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from workplace exposure to COVID-19. In June of last year, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to protect workers in healthcare settings from occupational exposure to the virus. This ETS also served as a proposed rule and focused on healthcare workers most likely to have contact with people infected with the virus.

OSHA is partially reopening the rulemaking record to receive new data and comments on topics, including the following:

  • 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.

The public can submit comments online in Docket No. OSHA-2020-0004, no later than April 22, 2022, on this website. The public may also testify at a virtual hearing that will begin on April 27, 2022. A notice of intention to appear must be submitted no later than April 6, 2022.

OSHA also reminds healthcare employers that they must continue to comply with their obligations under the General Duty Clause, Personal Protective Equipment and Respiratory Protection Standards, as well as other applicable OSHA standards meant to protect their employees against the hazard of COVID-19 in the workplace.

As a reminder, OSHA is in the first few weeks of its three-month long enforcement initiative for hospitals and nursing care facilities.

Copyright © 2022 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 82

About this Author

Megan Baroni Environmental attorney Robinson Cole

Megan Baroni has extensive experience counseling clients on a wide variety of environmental, health, and safety issues. She frequently represents manufacturers and distributors and is a contributing author to the firm's Manufacturing Law Blog, focusing on environmental, health, and safety trends that will impact the industry.
Environmental Compliance & Dispute Resolution 
Megan is a trusted advisor on complex environmental compliance issues, including the investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of contaminated properties;...

Jonathan Schaefer, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Environmental Law Attorney, Hartford

Jonathan Schaefer, a member of the firm’s Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group, focuses his practice on environmental compliance counseling, permitting, site remediation, occupational health and safety, energy regulatory compliance and siting, and litigation related to federal and state regulatory programs. His experiences enable him to work effectively with experts and legal counsel to help clients minimize risk and solve compliance, enforcement, transactional, and regulatory matters.

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