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06.29.21   |   COVID-19, Insights

You may Think the Pandemic is Over, but OSHA Doesn’t

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After more than a year of mask mandates and social distancing, the world seems to be slowly returning to normal. However, for employers with unvaccinated employees, the end does not seem so near.

At the beginning of June, OHSA provided an update for employers that focused specifically on protecting their unvaccinated and at-risk employees. There was also some good news for employers with employees that are fully vaccinated. If all employees are vaccinated, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their workers from COVID-19 in the workplace.1

But for many employers who still have unvaccinated employees, the pandemic is not over in the eyes of OSHA. Employers need to continue practices to protect unvaccinated and at risk employees against of the virus. OHSA guidelines include:

  • Give paid time off for employees to receive the vaccine and recover from any side effects
  • Continue advising employees to stay home if they or someone they have been in contact with is infected with COVID-19
  • Provide unvaccinated and at risk employees with face coverings and continue social distancing
  • Continue to educate employees on COVID policies and ways they can protect themselves and others
  • Suggest unvaccinated patrons or visitors wear face coverings
  • Maintain quality ventilation systems
  • Continue disinfecting frequently touched surfaces

Healthcare facilities are still subject to OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard and should continue following OSHA’s guidance. More information can be found here: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets/faqs

Lastly, stay tuned: OHSA states it’s going to issue an enforcement memo on these issues by the end of June.

We understand the ever-changing rules can be stressful for employers. If you need additional guidance on how to continue implementing an OSHA-approved workplace strategy, please contact one of our attorneys.

Footnotes

  1. This does not apply to workplaces covered by OSHA’s ETS and public transportation.

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