The New York State Department of Labor released its anticipated airborne infectious disease standard and sample plan on July 6.  Employers have until August 5, 2021 to adopt or create a plan to comply with the standard.
Continue Reading New York Releases HERO Act Standard, Sample Plan: What Employers Need to Know

Beginning June 15, 2021, Governor Newsom moved forward with his plan to lift public health restrictions on businesses, including capacity limitations, physical distancing, and face coverings.  In response, Cal/OSHA also has issued new workplace standards for COVID-19 prevention
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Standards Board Votes to Adopt Revisions to COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)

On June 10, 2021, fifteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued its first ‘emergency temporary standard’ (“ETS”) governing the impact of COVID-19 on health care workers.

The ETS broadly requires healthcare employers to conduct an internal safety assessment and develop a safety plan, which must be in writing for all employers with more than 10 employees. The ETS further delineates requirements relating to patient screening and management, health precautions, masks and PPE,  aerosol-generating procedures, physical distancing, physical barriers, cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, health screening, vaccination, employee training, anti-retaliation, record-keeping, reporting occurrences of COVID-19 transmission, and paying employees for periods of quarantine. Consistent with recent CDC guidance, the ETS also contains carve outs on employee mask-wearing requirements where employees are all vaccinated or where employees are given reasonable accommodations exempting them from mask-wearing and/or vaccination requirements.
Continue Reading OSHA’s New Safety Rule: Health Care Workers and Beyond

On March 22, 2021, Marty Walsh, the two-term Boston mayor, was confirmed as the Labor Secretary by the United States Senate in a 68-29 vote.  He becomes the first union leader to run the Department of Labor in over four decades. Workplace safety will be one area that we can expect to undergo significant change under Walsh. 
Continue Reading DOL and OSHA: Agency Updates

In response to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 685.  In short, AB 685 imposes uniform notice requirements on California employers dealing with a potential COVID-19 exposure or outbreak, requires employers to maintain records of COVID-19 notices, and empowers the Division of Occupational Health and Safety to close down worksites where the risk of exposure to COVID-19 constitutes an imminent hazard to employees.
Continue Reading California’s New COVID-19 Notice And Record-Keeping Requirements

Virginia became the first state in the country to pass a workplace safety standard specific to COVID-19 on July 15.  It includes hazard assessment, communication and training requirements, depending on the types of tasks employees perform at work.
Continue Reading Virginia Passes First-in-the-Nation COVID-19 Safety Standard – What it Means for Your Workplace

On May 1, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an OSHA Alert for restaurants and beverage service businesses providing curbside and takeout service during the pandemic.  This Alert is one in a series of industry-specific alerts that OSHA has published, and will continue to publish, to assist and educate businesses that will re-open (or that continued to operate), and which recommends certain measures to protect employees and patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading OSHA Releases COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Restaurants Offering Takeout or Curbside Pickup

The Centers for Disease Control and Occupational Safety and Health Administration collaborated to release new guidance for employers in the meat processing industry on April 26. OSHA and the CDC noted several unique facets of meat processing work that exposed workers to increased likelihood of COVID-19 transmission at work, including close contact, the duration of the close contact, shared tools and surfaces and the frequency of ride-sharing and community-based interactions among employees.
Continue Reading CDC, OSHA Release Workplace Safety Guidance for Meat Processing Employers