On 1/29/21, OSHA issued additional guidance and recommendations for employers with respect to COVID-19 precautions. Keep in mind these recommendations are not mandatory, but recommendations. Here are a few of the recommendations:
- Employers should provide all workers with face coverings unless their work task requires a respirator. Many states did not require this and OSHA did not previously recommend employers purchase masks.
- Provide the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to eligible employees. This is an interesting development, but it recognizes an employer’s general duty to provide a safe workplace for every employee and that right now, doing so may include providing the vaccine for everyone.
- Implementation of safety measures should not be distinguished based on employees who are vaccinated or not vaccinated.
- The effect of quarantine and isolations should be minimized. For example, where feasible, employers are encouraged to implement non-punitive policies and provide paid sick leave. Employers with less than 500 employees are encouraged to provide FFCRA leave (which is no longer mandatory) through March 31, 2021.
- Provide screening and testing guidance.
- Assign a workplace coordinator responsible for COVID-19 issues.