While the federal government tries to defend its rules for mandatory employee vaccinations, now it is dealing with the end of another of its COVID-related emergency standards.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) acknowledged Monday that its final emergency temporary standard (ETS) from June that affected workers in the health care industry expired December 21.
However, the organization announced Monday on its website that it will enforce the general duty standard and its general standards, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protection standards. The respiratory protection standards deal with personnel providing care to persons who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
In the statement, OSHA said it will file in the U.S. Federal Register about its intentions to continue to enforce the “general duty clause and its general standards.” We’ll likely know more about what exactly will be enforced when the notice is posted in the Federal Register.
The expiring standard should not be confused with the more recent ETS that OSHA released in November that applies to employers with 100 or more employees. That ETS is currently active, though the U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will hear arguments on January 7 as to whether the standard is enforceable.