New OSHA COVID-19 Guidance

New OSHA COVID-19 Guidance

On 1/29/21, OSHA issued additional guidance and recommendations for employers with respect to COVID-19 precautions. Keep in mind these recommendations are not mandatory, but recommendations. Here are a few of the recommendations:

-Employers should provide all workers with face coverings, unless their work task requires a respirator. Many states did not require this and OSHA did not previously recommend employers purchase masks.

-Provide the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to eligible employees. This is an interesting development, but it recognizes an employer's general duty to provide a safe workplace for every employee and that right now, doing so may include providing the vaccine for everyone.

-Implementation of safety measures should not be distinguished based on employees who are vaccinated or not vaccinated.

- The effect of quarantine and isolations should be minimized. For example where feasible, employers are encouraged to implement non-punitive policies, and provide paid sick leave. Employers with less than 500 employees are encouraged to provide FFCRA leave (which is no longer mandatory) through March 31, 2021.

-Provide screening and testing guidance.

-Assign a workplace coordinator responsible for COVID-19 issues.