Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and COVID-19 [Updated October 20, 2020] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Document: "The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not currently have a specific standard that protects healthcare or other workers from airborne or aerosol transmission of disease or diseases transmitted by airborne droplets. Some in Congress, and some groups representing healthcare, meat and poultry processing, and other workers, are calling on OSHA to promulgate an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect workers from exposure to SARS-CoV-2 [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2], the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) gives OSHA the ability to promulgate an ETS that would remain in effect for up to six months without going through the normal review and comment process of rulemaking. OSHA, however, has rarely used this authority in the past--not since the courts struck down its ETS on asbestos in 1983. [...] Through October 1, 2020, OSHA has issued COVID-19-related citations to employers at 62 work sites, with total proposed penalties of $913,133. These citations have been issued for violations of the OSH Act's General Duty Clause and other existing OSHA standards, such as those for respiratory protection, that may apply to COVID-19. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory A. Booker have raised concerns about the low amount of penalties being assessed for COVID-19-related violations."
CRS Report for Congress, R46288
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/