OSHA releases updated safety guidance for all industries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Thursday updated its guidance for all industries, closely mirroring what is currently in place in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.
The move came on the same day that OSHA released a long-anticipated emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 safety, which only applies to health care workers.
The new guidelines for all industries state that “unless otherwise required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their fully vaccinated workers who are not otherwise at-risk from COVID-19 exposure.”
OSHA officials said in a press conference Thursday that the new guidance would cover such sectors as manufacturing, meat and seafood processing, grocery and retail.
The agency said the new guidance, which calls for mask-wearing and other protections, focuses only on “protecting unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces (or well-defined portions of workplaces).” It cites workers with preexisting health conditions as among those who are at risk for severe COVID-19.
The recommendations are “advisory in nature and informational in content and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm,” the guidelines state.
Worker safety advocates on Thursday expressed dismay that the new emergency temporary standard only covers health care workers.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.