New OSHA Rules Aim to Protect Health Professionals in COVID-19 Era

June 22, 2021

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an emergency temporary standard designed to protect workers from COVID-19. The rule applies only to the healthcare industry and impacts those who work in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as emergency responders and home healthcare workers. It also applies to nonhospital ambulatory care settings, such as physician offices, unless an exception applies. Use this flow chart to determine if your workplace is covered by the new emergency temporary standard.

The new rule, which will take effect upon being published in the Federal Register, mandates that employers implement a COVID-19 plan to reduce transmission, including:
  • Providing personal protective equipment to workers
  • Ensuring ventilation systems are working properly
  • Providing paid time off for unvaccinated employees to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects
  • Installing barriers between workstations where distancing is not possible

A summary is available here.

According to federal officials, healthcare professionals – particularly those who come into regular contact with the virus – are the employees who are most at risk.

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