As we have been updating you about here, on July 27th, the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSH) adopted a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). There are some important deadlines fast approaching under that new rule:
Conduct a COVID-19 Hazard Assessment to categorize the risk exposures at the workplace (due by Aug. 26th);
Deliver the first of two COVID-19 employee training events (due by Aug. 26th); and
Implement a written infectious disease preparedness and response plan (due by Sept. 25th).
But while everyone is scrambling to come into compliance with the emergency rule, we want to highlight another big development with the Virginia rule that has a fast-approaching deadline – that is, VOSH’s effort to prepare a permanent infectious disease standard.
The ETS is, of course, just a temporary standard, but by regulation, VOSH is required to commence a rulemaking to promulgate a permanent standard soon after issuing an ETS. By publication of the ETS in July, VOSH simultaneously gave notice that the Standards Board intends to adopt a permanent infectious disease standard, and the ETS serves as the proposed rule. Here is a link to the Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention. The agency intends to finalize the permanent rule within six months, with an effective date no later than January 27, 2021.
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: Continue reading →
On Monday, August 3rd at 1 PM ET, join Eric J. Conn (Chair of Conn Maciel Carey’s national OSHA Practice), Susan Wilcox (a CIH and CSP with Safety Resource Associates), and special guest Jennifer Rose (VOSH Cooperative Programs Director with the Virginia Dept. of Labor and Industry) for a complimentary webinar regarding “Everything You Need to Know About Virginia OSHA’s New COVID-19 Standard.”
Last week, 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: Continue reading →
On June 26, 2020, Oregon OSHA announced that in consultation with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA)/Public Health and other technical advisors, as well as affected stakeholders, it had begun to develop a pair of temporary COVID-19 workplace rules — one for healthcare and closely-related industries, and another for general workplaces. The target effective date for those temporary rules is September 1, 2020, with the rules to remain in effect through at least February 2021. In parallel, Oregon will also begin work on permanent rules addressing airborne infectious disease control through the state’s normal rulemaking process.
The technical advisory group meetings and external stakeholder meetings are already taking place and are expected to be completed over the next two weeks.
Even though the emergency temporary standards will not go through the typical, more formal rulemaking process, there are still opportunities for employers to influence:
the scope of the rules;
the substantive requirements of the rules; and/or
how their workplaces will be characterized (i.e., as healthcare or general industry).
Participation in the stakeholder meetings and the submission of comments could make
a significant impact on the nature of the burdens placed on Oregon employers through the remainder of the pandemic.