The first nationwide emergency workplace safety rule, requiring health-care employers to protect workers against on-the-job Covid-19 infection, has been published on OSHA’s website.
The emergency temporary standard released Thursday applies only in the health-care sector and will be supplemented by voluntary guidance for other industries. The rule takes effect upon publication in the Federal Register, but it’s not immediately clear when that will happen.
It requires implementation of an infection-control plan developed with worker participation as well as the wearing of masks and respirators, mandates Covid-19 screenings at entry points, and compels paid time off for employees to get vaccinated or recover from a shot’s side effects.
Its unveiling comes more than four months after President Joe Biden‘s January executive order directing the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to pursue an emergency temporary standard for Covid-19. The Trump administration had refused to issue a regulation mandating virus protections in the workplace.