Healthcare Regulation

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on June 11, 2021, to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. The standard focuses on healthcare workers most likely to have contact with someone infected with the virus. OSHA announced the new standard alongside new general industry guidance, both of which are aligned with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.[i]


What types of healthcare settings does the ETS Apply to?

The ETS applies to healthcare settings where any employee provides healthcare services or healthcare support services, including employees in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities; emergency responders; home healthcare workers; and employees in ambulatory care facilities where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated



How does an organization determine if they are required to comply with the ETS mandate?

Please see the flow chart by OSHA to determine applicability of the ETS.  



What are the key ETS requirements for non-exempt employers?

o   Conduct a hazard assessment to identify and understand COVID-19 hazards that may exist and determine the administrative and engineering controls required to minimize the risk of transmission to employees.  

o   Implement an effective COVID-19 Plan and Standard Operating Procedures (must be in writing if employees > 10).

o   Solicit the input and ongoing commitment to the plan from non-managerial employees or their representatives.

o   Select a COVID-19 Safety Coordinator that has knowledge of infection control and prevention with the authority to perform ongoing assessments and take the appropriate actions to ensure ongoing compliance. 

[i] U.S. Department of Labor, US Department of Labor’s OSHA issues emergency temporary standard

to protect health care workers from the coronavirus, OSHA National News Release, June 10, 2021.