On his full first day of public office, President Joe Biden issued a flurry of executive orders affecting a broad range of issues, including how U.S. companies protect workers against exposure to COVID-19. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new guidance on Jan. 29, 2021 for workplace safety around the pandemic, which could become part of an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) by March 15th.
Now fully one year into the pandemic, businesses have been inundated with volumes of guidance on COVID-19 and the workplace. What’s changing now? How can your company respond? And how can you keep your Infectious Disease Prevention and Response Plan up to date amid a constant tide of new guidelines and standards?
These are some of the questions Intertek Alchemy will answer during its next webinar, Infectious Disease and Response Plans to Manage COVID-19 & OSHA, March 3rd, 12:00 - 1:00 PM CST with Rick Gehrke, Senior EHS Consultant and Jeff Chilton, Vice President Consulting. Rick will provide an update and overview of the revised COVID-19 OHSA guidance with several changes that affect manufacturers including:
- COVID-19 vaccines provided at no costs by employers
- Continued protections even after workers are vaccinated
- Two-layer face coverings
- Expanded quarantine measures
- And many other potential new employer responsibilities.
If these OSHA changes evolve from “guidance” to an ETS as expected, it’s likely to replicate permanent regulations like the ones instituted by the state of Virginia. Similar ETSs have been issued by states including Michigan, California, Oregon, and Washington.
Gehrke will talk about what goes into creating an ETS and what that means for manufacturers if OSHA’s guidelines advance to that level. He’ll also discuss how to factor in these changes as you prepare for future OSHA inspections, followed by an overview of the new ISO 45005 COVID-19 pandemic guidelines.
Covering all the pandemic-related updates reminds us of the need to keep Infectious Disease Prevention and Response Plans current and ready for future events, which Chilton will discuss. During this portion of the webinar, he’ll review what goes into developing and sustaining prevention and response plans including CDC/OSHA COVID-19 Facility Assessment Checklist for manufacturing facilities.
The webinar will include a discussion on how to designate response coordinators, the role of state and local public health partners, and tips for key components of your plans. Chilton will also discuss best practices for Employees, Facilities and Sanitation management.
If you haven’t already, click here to learn more and register for the event.