OSHA issues updated guidance on COVID-19
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued updated guidance on Aug. 13 to help employers protect workers from the coronavirus.
The revised guidance expands information on appropriate measures for protecting workers in higher-risk workplaces with mixed-vaccination status workers, particularly for industries such as manufacturing; meat, seafood and poultry processing; high volume retail and grocery; and agricultural processing, where there often is prolonged close contact with other workers and/or non-workers.
OSHA’s latest guidance does the following:
• Recommends that fully vaccinated workers in areas of substantial or high community transmission wear masks in order to protect unvaccinated workers;
• Recommends that fully vaccinated workers who have close contacts with people with coronavirus wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least 3-5 days after such contact;
• Clarifies recommendations to protect unvaccinated workers and other at-risk workers in manufacturing, meat and poultry processing, seafood processing and agricultural processing; and
• Links to the latest guidance on K-12 schools and CDC statements on public transit.
This guidance is intended to help employers and workers not covered by the OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Healthcare, which OSHA issued in June this year. The agency monitors and assesses the need for changes in the ETS every 30 days, including whether to expand the ETS to all industries. NGFA will continue to monitor if OSHA revisits its decision to exclude non-healthcare workplaces from the COVID-19 ETS.
Additional information about COVID-19 and the ETS is available on OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage and Emergency Temporary Standard webpage.