The increase in the frequency of violent confrontations faced by healthcare workers in the workplace is prompting OSHA to pursue a standard for Prevention of Workplace Violence in the Healthcare and Social Assistance industries.   Healthcare workers have faced a significant increase (63% from 2011-2018) in the incidence of violent and aggressive acts in the workplace, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Association of American Medical Colleges. According to OSHA, “nonfatal workplace violence is more widespread in the Healthcare and Social Assistance Standard than in any other industry.”

Continue Reading OSHA Pursues Potential Standard for Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance and Unions Urge Enhancements to Final COVID-19 Safety Standard for Healthcare Workplace

On January 4, 2023, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the 2022 Unified Regulatory Agenda and Regulatory Plan (Fall 2022 Agenda) that reports on all planned rulemaking actions of administrative agencies. According to the Fall 2022 Agenda, the Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) are pursuing a long list of thirty regulatory actions, similar to the Spring 2022 agenda, including the addition of a rule regarding Procedures for Use of Administrative Subpoenas in OSHA investigations.

Continue Reading OMB Releases Regulatory Agenda for Fall 2022 for OSHA/MSHA/DOL

In January 2022, a worker in a Massachusetts cannabis cultivation facility died because of “the hazards of ground cannabis dust,” according to a report issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The OSHA accident investigation report states “Filling pre-rolls She said she couldn’t breathe. Not being able to breathe Marijuana kief (dust) At

On Monday, April 4, 2022, OSHA released a new memorandum to regional administrators regarding enforcement of OSHA’s rule requiring electronic submittal of injury and illness records.

Each week, the agency will be running a computer program to identify employers who might not be complying. While OSHA originally predicted almost half a million employers would need

On March 23, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a notice in the federal register announcing a limited re-opening of the comment period regarding OSHA’s final standard to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19. The comment period will end on April 22, 2022, and the virtual public hearing will be held on April 27, 2022. The Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 for  healthcare and healthcare support service workers (OSHA Healthcare ETS) was originally published on June 21, 2021. OSHA has re-opened the comment period to allow stakeholders to address changes the agency is considering that depart from the June 2021 version of the OSHA Healthcare ETS.
Continue Reading Healthcare Industry: OSHA Re-opens Comment Period and Schedules Public Hearing on ETS – Occupational Exposure to COVID-19

On Thursday, November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)  applicable to employers of 100 or more employees. The ETS requires employers  to adopt a soft vaccine mandate obligating employees to either get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and to wear a face covering at work. OSHA expressly states that the ETS pre-empts all state or local laws that are contrary to the ETS requirements. The ETS will be effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register (November 5, 2021).  However, employees who work for covered employers will have until January 4, 2022 to get vaccinated or otherwise comply with the testing/masking requirements.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Employers of 100 or More Employees

On October 25, 2021 the US Senate confirmed President Biden’s nominee Doug Parker to be the next Assistant Secretary of Labor and leader of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Mr. Parker will be the first Senate-confirmed leader for OSHA in over four years, as the Trump Administration never pursued a permanent head of

On August 13, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published updated guidance for the mitigation and spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This guidance is for workers not covered by OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare. The guidance adopts recommendations analogous with CDC guidance in response to the spread of the Delta

On June 9, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued a new COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) with the scope of the ETS limited to certain workplace settings that are defined as healthcare service and healthcare support service settings, unless the healthcare setting is specifically excluded. In conjunction with its release of the ETS, on June 10, 2021, OSHA also issued new guidance applicable to employers and workers that are not covered by the ETS. The stated purpose of the new guidance is to enable employers to better recognize and abate hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation under the General Duty clause and other existing mandatory OSHA standards. To accompany our recent commentary on the ETS, we also have prepared the following summary of the OSHA guidance directed at employers not covered by the ETS.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues New Guidance Applicable to all Employers Not Covered by the ETS

On June 9, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its long anticipated interim final rule and request for comments for the Occupational Exposure to COVID-19; Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). OSHA released the ETS one day after the approval of the standard was received from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. The ETS is limited to covered healthcare employers and excludes from coverage of the standard certain healthcare workplaces that have a fully vaccinated workforce and that exclude individuals with possible COVID-19 infections. The rule becomes effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register with deadlines for compliance that vary by section of the ETS. Written comments regarding whether the ETS should become a final rule must be submitted within 30 days of the publication date in the Federal Register. A brief overview of the ETS’s requirements are provided below.
Continue Reading OSHA Issues Federal COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard