On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
The guidance applies to employers and employees in settings outside of the health care industry and is now focused only on protecting unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees in their workplaces.
Employers can use this OSHA guidance to help them take the appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection of unvaccinated or otherwise at risk employees.
According to OSHA, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their fully vaccinated employees who are otherwise not at risk from COVID-19 exposure unless otherwise required by federal, state or local laws.
This guidance contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards, which are labeled “mandatory OSHA standard(s)” in bold. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and intended to provide a safe and healthy workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm. This Compliance Bulletin reviews the OSHA recommendations for unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees.
Under the guidance, employers with unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees should update their COVID-19 prevention plans to provide policies and procedures for those specific employees to follow. Employers should also review the guidance for vaccinated employees working with unvaccinated employees and update their policies and procedures accordingly.
The OSHA guidance covers:
- Measures to limit the spread of COVID-19;
- Isolation or separation measures for unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees;
- Use of personal protective equipment; and
- Improvements in ventilation, hygiene and sanitation measures.
- The guidance contains recommendations, but also includes the mandatory safety and health standards that have already been established.
- The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthy workplace.
This Compliance Bulletin is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. Design © 2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.