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OSHA Issues COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its long-awaited COVID-19 emergency temporary standard today. The standard will apply only to the health care industry with nonbinding guidance for other employers.

The standard aims to “protect health care and health care support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19 in settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present,” according to OSHA. “During the period of the emergency standard, covered health care employers must develop and implement a COVID-19 plan to identify and control COVID-19 hazards in the workplace.” Covered employers must also implement certain other measures to reduce workplace transmission of COVID-19, such as patient screening, increased cleaning and ensuring the use of personal protective equipment.

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