Employers can expect an increase in the number of federal OSHA inspections related to COVID-19. During his first week of presidency, Joe Biden signed an executive order regarding COVID-19 and OSHA. The order requires that OSHA, “review workplace safety enforcement, efforts established during the COVID-19 crisis and enact new, science-based guidelines to better help keep workers safe on the job.”
Additionally, OSHA was tasked by the new administration to investigate issuing Emergency Temporary Standards surrounding stopping the spread of COVID-19. President Biden has also instructed OSHA to increase enforcement activities and use resources to protect workers who are at risk. Likely employers will soon be required to have workplace infection control plans.
As your HSE partner, we recommend that you take the following actions to prepare for increased OSHA activity.
- Have a written COVID-19 Response Program or Plan and train employees on the protocols in the plan.
- Demonstrate control measures based on CDC guidelines and recommendations (self-screening protocol for symptoms, providing hand sanitizer/masks, displaying appropriate signage, etc.)
- Document a routine cleaning schedule.
- Establish or update a written respirator protection program if respirator use is required.
- Keep your OSHA log updated and include COVID–19 Illnesses if they are contracted at work.