FAQs About Virginia OSHA’s New COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On August 3rd, Eric J. Conn (Chair of Conn Maciel Carey’s national OSHA Practice), Susan Wilcox (a CIH and CSP with Virginia-based Safety Resource Associates), and special guest Jennifer Rose (Director of Cooperative Programs at VOSH) presented a webinar: “Everything You Need to Know About Virginia OSHA’s New COVID-19 Standard.VOSH FAQs

During the webinar, we collected numerous questions from participants about VOSH’s new COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard.  We have compiled all of those questions from the webinar into this written Q&A document with our answers and useful links throughout.  These FAQs have also been incorporated into our broader compendium of COVID-19 FAQs on Conn Maciel Carey’s COVID-19 Task Force Resource Page.

We are also pleased to share these links to a copy of the slides and a recording of the webinar, as well as our article here on the OSHA Defense Report blog about the lay of the land around VOSH’s new rule.  And below is a brief recap of the program.

Last month, Virginia became the first state in the nation to promulgate a mandatory safety regulation designed to reduce COVID-19 infections in the workplace, when Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam announced the commonwealth’s adoption of an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”). The COVID-19 ETS, which was drafted by Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry, requires Virginia employers to:

  • Assess potential exposures to COVID-19 in the workplace
  • Categorize the level of risk of exposure from Low to Very High (each with different mitigation requirements)
  • Develop and implement a written infection control plan
  • Provide employee training on the virus and control measures in the workplace
  • Make certain notifications about infected employees to co-workers, to VOSH, and to the VA Dept. of Health

VOSH’s COVID-19 ETS went into effect July 27th when it was published in a newspaper of general circulation in Richmond, VA (the Richmond Times-Dispatch).  Virginia companies could face penalties ranging from approx. $13,000 up to $130,000 for each violation of the new rule.

Participants in the August 3rd webinar learned about:VOSH Cover Slide

  • Background about VOSH’s COVID-19 Standard
  • What VOSH’s COVID-19 ETS requires
  • What to include in your Infection Control Plan
  • Requirements for training, face masks, sanitation, and notifications about infected employees
  • Timelines and deadlines in VOSH’s new rule

Let us know if you have any questions about VOSH’s New COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, COVID-19 Issues in the workplace generally, or any other OSHA law issues.  We would love to be a resource for you as you conduct your COVID-19 Hazard Assessments, develop your infection control plans, or produce and deliver the required COVID-19 training.

Click here to view the full schedule, program descriptions, and individual registration pages for the remaining complimentary webinars in Conn Maciel Carey’s 2020 OSHA Webinar Series.  To register for all of Conn Maciel Carey’s OSHA webinars, click here to send an email request, and we will get you automatically registered.

2020 OSHA Webinar Series LogoIf you missed any of our past webinars in our annual OSHA Webinar Series, here is a link to Conn Maciel Carey’s webinar archive.

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