Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and COVID-19 [Updated April 27, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

Form the Document: "The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not currently have a specific standard that protects health care or other workers from airborne or aerosol transmission of disease or diseases transmitted by airborne droplets. Some in Congress, and some groups representing health care, 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. [...] On January 21, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing OSHA to review whether a COVID-19 ETS is necessary and, if necessary, issue an ETS by March 15, 2021. As of January 14, 2021, OSHA had issued citations from 315 inspections related to COVID-19 resulting in a total of $4,034,288 in proposed civil penalties. 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."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46288
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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