What is an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)?
Under section 6(c)(1) of the OSH Act, 29 U.S.C. 655(c)(1), OSHA shall issue an ETS if the agency determines that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and an ETS is necessary to protect employees from such danger.
The COVID-19 emergency temporary standard establishes new requirements for settings where employees provide healthcare or health care support services, including dental offices, skilled nursing homes, and home healthcare, with some exemptions for healthcare providers who screen patients who may have COVID-19.
What Does the Emergency Temporary Standard Require?
Some of the key requirements of the ETS include:
Please note: this list is not comprehensive. For the full list please see the official ETS document.
Conduct a hazard assessment and develop and implement a COVID-19 plan for each workplace. Engage employees in the development of the plan.
Develop and implement policies and procedures to adhere to Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Keep employees at least 6 feet apart from all other people when indoors except when impossible, such as when delivering medical care.
At each fixed work location outside of direct patient care areas (e.g., entryway/lobby, check-in desks, triage, hospital pharmacy windows, bill payment) where each employee is not separated from all other people by at least 6 feet of distance, the employer must install cleanable or disposable solid barriers, except where the employer can demonstrate it is not feasible.
Follow standard practices for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and equipment in accordance with CDC guidelines inpatient care areas, resident rooms, and for medical devices and equipment.
In all other areas, clean high-touch surfaces and equipment at least once a day. Provide alcohol-based hand rub that is at least 60% alcohol or provide readily accessible hand-washing facilities.
Health screening and medical management. Employers are required to:
Ensure each employee receives training in a language and at a literacy level the employee understands so that the employee comprehends disease transmission, tasks and situations in the workplace that could result in COVID-19 infection, and relevant policies and procedures. Ensure each employee receives additional training when changes occur that affect the employee’s risk of infection if policies or procedures are changed, or when there is an indication that an employee has not retained the necessary understanding or skill.
For employers with more than 10 employees, establish a COVID-19 log of all employee cases of COVID-19 without regard to occupational exposure and follow requirements to make records available to employees.
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OSHA emergency temporary standard
Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, Done Desk is not responsible for any errors and omissions, or anyone’s interpretations, applications, and changes of regulations described. This ain’t a substitute for review of the applicable regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice, okay?
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