Compliance and Training Programs; COVID-19 Compliance; Practice Protocols

Do Your Compliance and Training Programs Support Your COVID-19 Compliance and Practice Protocols?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard that became effective on June 21st, 2021 to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19 in settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present. These made changes to many standard Compliance and Training Programs.

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.

  • COVID-19 Plan.

Conduct a hazard assessment and develop and implement a COVID-19 plan for each workplace. Engage employees in the development of the plan.

  • Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions.

Develop and implement policies and procedures to adhere to Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions in accordance with CDC guidelines.

  • Physical distancing.

Keep employees at least 6 feet apart from all other people when indoors except when impossible, such as when delivering medical care.

  • Physical barriers.

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.

  • Cleaning and disinfection.

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:

  • Screen employees before each workday and shift, such as by asking them to self-monitor;
  • Provide testing, when employer-required, at no cost to the employee;
  • Require each employee to promptly notify the employer when the employee is COVID-19 positive, suspected of having COVID-19 or experiencing certain symptoms;
  • Notify, within 24 hours, certain employees if a person who has been in the workplace is COVID-19 positive;
  • Follow requirements to remove employees who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, certain COVID-19 symptoms, or have had close contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive in the workplace. This includes making decisions on returning employees to work in accordance with guidance from a licensed health care provider or specified CDC guidance;
  • Continue to pay employees removed from the workplace in most circumstances.

  • Compliance and Training Programs.

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.

  • Record keeping.

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.

Done Desk provides expert resources and training to help you establish, and maintain your COVID-19 Compliance and Training Programs. CDC guidelines, OSHA, HIPAA, infection control, and employee awareness are all at the forefront of practice ownership. We help you train your people, keep them trained, and organize your training records. For more information and help to ensure your practice gets the extra discipline you’ve been waiting for — invest 10 minutes for a demo to save you hours in lost productivity.

Want to learn more about taking the stress of compliance off of your shoulders?

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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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Compliance and Training Programs; COVID-19 Compliance; Practice Protocols

Do Your Compliance and Training Programs Support Your COVID-19 Compliance and Practice Protocols?