U.S. COVID-19: OSHA Issues Guidance Addressing Mitigation and Prevention of COVID-19 in the Workplace
February 2, 2021
Authored by: Bryan Keyt, Brandon Neuschafer and Dave Brankin
As part of President Biden’s first executive actions, on January 21, 2021, the president ordered the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to issue new science-based guidance to protect workers and enhance workplace health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. In compliance with this executive order, on January 29, 2021, OSHA issued new guidance to help employers better identify risks of being exposed to and/or contracting COVID-19 and to ascertain appropriate control measures employers can implement to address those risks. The guidance, titled “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace,” (“Guidance”) contains advisory recommendations and reinforces already existing mandatory safety and health standards. This Alert provides an overview of this new federal Guidance and highlights important considerations for employers.
Legal Obligations of Employers in Responding to COVID-19
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, OSHA has referenced and leveraged the Occupational Safety and Health Act