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OSHA Withdraws Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard, Recordkeeping Obligations Remain in Place

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On December 27, 2021, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) withdrew the non-recordkeeping portions of the Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard (“Healthcare ETS”). In its Statement on the Status of the OSHA COVID-19 Healthcare ETS (“Statement”), OSHA announced that it is working on a permanent and final standard, and that it will continue to enforce safety standards under the general duty clause .

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”), an emergency temporary standard is effective until superseded by a permanent standard, and the OSH Act states that such permanent standard shall occur within six months of the emergency temporary standard’s promulgation. OSHA adopted the Healthcare ETS on June 1, 2021, and the six-month period for the Healthcare ETS expired December 21, 2021.

OSHA announced that it intends to work to issue a final standard that will protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 hazards. Despite the withdrawal of the non-recordkeeping portions of the Healthcare ETS, OSHA “strongly encourages all healthcare employers to continue to implement the ETS’s requirements in order to protect employees from a hazard that too often causes death or serious physical harm to employees.” OSHA noted that “the danger faced by healthcare workers continues to be […]

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