On December 21, 2021, the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard that requires healthcare employers to institute certain safety controls to guard against COVID-19 will expire. Employers will be asking what now? Does the expiration of the ETS relieve healthcare employers from the requirements associated with the ETS, such as COVID-19 screening, payment for those who are medically removed from the workplace, and the use of physical barriers, respirators, and other controls? This session will examine what OSHA obligations will remain and how employers should navigate the expiration of the ETS. The bottom line is that even with the ETS expiring, healthcare employers will still need to implement certain controls (but not all) that were mandated by the ETS.
Areas Covered in the Session:
- What it means legally that the ETS has expired.
- Understanding what ETS safety controls should remain in effect even with the expiration of the ETS as the controls are still part of an employer’s overall requirement to provide a safe workplace, consistent with an employer’s obligations under OSHA’s General Duty Clause.
- Understand certain ETS controls that employers can likely remove unless mandated by state or local laws.
- Examine the effect of the still-in-place national emphasis OSHA enforcement program that targets healthcare and how that program will affect what OSHA investigators will be looking for even with the ETS expiring.
- Discuss the lessons learned from the ETS that may be part of a larger national infectious disease OSHA standard
- Examine obligations imposed on healthcare employers that remain unchanged with the expiration of the ETS, including OSHA recordkeeping and reporting obligations.
- Review the update on what vaccine and testing requirements may exist for healthcare employers given the current legal challenges to the OSHA Vaccine ETS and the CMS Vaccine Mandate