New COVID-19 guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released under President Joe Biden’s administration signal a more proactive approach toward protecting U.S. workers from COVID-19.
The new guidance seeks to protect all types of workers, not just those deemed to be at higher risk of contracting
COVID-19 depending on where they work. The guidance also asks employers to shield workers from retaliation if they have concerns about unsafe work conditions. The guidance also looks to establish ways for employees to voice work-related concerns anonymously. In general, OSHA wants employers to give their staff a bigger say in developing workplace safety protocols. Such protocols already require employers to enforce 6-foot distancing and face mask wearing, both of which are carryovers from former President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Biden administration is also pushing for some federal emergency standards that could carry more legal weight—something labor advocates have been wanting. OSHA has until March 15 to decide if it will issue those standards. OSHA also announced that it is resuming public announcements on workplace fines for unsafe conditions.
It is important that businesses remain vigilant during these unprecedented times, providing safe and healthy workplaces for all employees. This new guidance from the Biden administration may help workers in high-risk sectors maintain their unemployment benefits and avoid unsafe work, even if doing so puts added pressure on business owners.
For additional safety guidance and insurance information, contact Everett Callahan Insurance Agency, Inc..