If you’re not quite sure of the OSHA ETS status, that’s okay. There is a TON of activity and changing dates. We’ve got the skinny to keep you updated.

Here’s the OSHA ETS updates:

There are two OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for companies to be aware of:

  1. The ETS mandate for healthcare workers stating that hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities implement certain Covid-19 safety measures and provide workers time off to get the vaccine. This was issued in June and is being withdrawn as it nears the 6-month ETS expiration (ETS rules can only be in effect for 6 months.). Look for OSHA to submit a broader infectious disease ruling much later.
  2. The ETS mandate for employers with 100+ employees is currently in effect, but with a decision by the courts on Jan 7th. Oh, and compliance dates have been pushed back. But don’t get too comfortable – if the court sides with OSHA, the first compliance date will be Monday, January 10th. And healthcare companies that were specifically exempt are now subject to the ETS (if the company has 100+ employees).

To read more about the status of the court cases, read here. And here’s what OSHA posted on their website:

To account for any uncertainty created by the stay, OSHA is exercising enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance dates of the ETS. To provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance, OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard. OSHA will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance.

What does the OSHA ETS mean for organizations with 100+ employees?

Under the current standard, covered employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.

Of particular note:

  • All unvaccinated workers must begin wearing masks by January 10 and provide a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis beginning February 9.
  • Employers must pay employees for the time it takes to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects that prevent them from working.
  • Companies are not required to pay for or provide the tests unless they are otherwise required to by state or local laws or in labor union contracts.

What action do you need to take now?

  1. Does this apply to your organization? Determine if you are covered by the ETS. Work with your workplace safety team to determine if your organization is covered under the vaccine-or-test OSHA ETS for employers with at least 100 employees.
  2. Create a written plan. If the ETS is given a green light, a written policy is required for the January 10th compliance date. If you do not have one, or would like a review of the policy in place, please contact us.
  3. Check Vaccine Status. If the ETS applies to you, you will need to know the vaccine status of your employees, and record it on a vaccination roster.
  4. Choose whether you will test or mandate vaccinations.  Depending on what your organization chooses, the process and policies will need to be included in the written policy, and adapted to your workplace. This may take a little time and is where the phrase “so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard” applies.
  5. In state with a “state” OSHA? For states that comply with a state OSHA rather than federal OSHA organization have until January 24 to adopt the ETS or put in place a ruling that is “as effective” as the federal rule.  
  6. Compliance Training. Develop programs that would allow you to conduct compliance training for your managers and deliver information about your policies to your employees as required under the ETS. You may want to conduct this training and start your informational campaign before the January 10 deadline to further demonstrate your good faith efforts. Need help? We have training ready to go.
  7. How to demonstrate proof. If you’re going the route of Covid testing, you will need to have a process and policy in place for how unvaccinated employees will demonstrate proof of a negative test. You’ve got a little more time – February 9 – to be compliant.

If you have any questions about the requirements, the ETS, or anything safety-related, we have safety advisors that can lay it out in simple terms. Completely free and no obligation.

If you need help with any COVID safety policies, training, or inspections, ask about our COVID ETS bundle.

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