On January 29, 2021, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued stronger workplace safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus prevention program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction. This guidance arrives after President Biden issued an executive order on January 21, 2021 directing OSHA to strengthen its safety recommendations for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure. This new guidance also urges employers to engage their employees in the development and implementation of the prevention program. You may find “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” on OSHA’s website here.
Per the OSHA post, this guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in recognizing and abating hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation to provide a safe and healthful workplace. Some recommendations included in the guidance are conducting hazard assessments, identifying control measures to limit the spread of the virus and adopting policies that don’t punish workers for absences when they think they may have been infected. OSHA will update this guidance over time as needed.
For specific questions regarding the new guidance information, reach out to your local Marsh & McLennan Agency representative.