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At the beginning of this year, President Biden issued an Executive Order requiring OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to issue “science-based guidance” to help protect workers from COVID-19 exposure. The Executive Order does not create instant changes, but calls OSHA for prompt action to update its guidance.
The Executive Order requires OSHA to:
- issue, within two weeks, revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- consider whether any emergency temporary standards on COVID-19, including those relating to masks in the workplace, are necessary;
- review OSHA enforcement efforts to identify any changes (in short-, medium-, and long-term)that could be made to better protect workers and ensure equity in enforcement;
- focus OSHA enforcement efforts on violations that put the largest number of workers at serious risk or are contrary to anti-retaliation principles;
- coordinate with states and all regional OSHA offices to conduct a multilingual outreach campaign to inform workers their rights under applicable law.
As the world wrestles with the unprecedented implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope everyone is taking personal responsibility to stay safe and healthy, we are in this together.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller
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