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OSHA Expected to Issue COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard Next Week

Next week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to issue a six-month emergency temporary standard (ETS) related to COVID-19.  The ETS is expected to mandate at least the guidelines from OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control—which recommend wearing masks and maintaining six feet of distance, even after vaccination—as well as other specific steps employers must take to protect their workers from coronavirus exposure.

Earlier this week, SWACCA joined the Construction Employers of America in sending a letter to OSHA to help provide the perspective of the unionized construction industry as the agency considered an ETS. The letter took no position on an ETS, but requested if OSHA moves forward with one, the agency respect the labor management relationship by not applying the ETS to workplaces in which an employer and its union mutually agree on best practices, so long as they are faithfully adhered to by all parties.

We will be sure to provide more information once the text of the ETS becomes available and we learn if OSHA accepted this suggestion.

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