Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and COVID-19 [Updated June 2, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Summary: "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. [...] 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. To date, OSHA has not issued a COVID-19 ETS. 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. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory 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/