New OSHA Standard Targets COVID-19 in Healthcare

By Dan Hounsell
June 14, 2021

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that requires healthcare employers to help protect workers in settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated. OSHA has determined that employee exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 presents a grave danger to workers in healthcare settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present and has issued the ETS to address the hazard. 

According to the ETS, “During the period of the emergency standard, covered healthcare employers must develop and implement a COVID-19 plan to identify and control COVID-19 hazards in the workplace. Covered employers must also implement other requirements to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in their workplaces.”

Among the requirements are those related to ventilation, cleaning and disinfection, PPE, physical barriers, and physical distancing when feasible.

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