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Will OSHA COVID-19 Employer Guidelines Soon Become Enforceable?

Posted on in Workplace Injury

Larimer County workers compensation attorney

Shortly after taking office in January, President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders that addressed COVID-19 worker protections. According to information provided on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website, the protocols outlined in the executive orders are currently just guidelines; however, it is anticipated that these guidelines will soon become enforceable, thus affecting Colorado employers.

One of the directives given by President Biden to OSHA was to come up with the COVID-19 guidelines and another was to possibly implement emergency temporary standards to address the hazards that workers face in the workplace if needed. If these guidelines become standards, they will then be enforceable. The deadline set in the executive order to make these changes is March 15, 2021.

Employer Responsibilities to Keep Workers Safe from COVID

Some of the COVID-19 guidelines for employers currently recommended by OSHA include:

  • Employers should require all employees to wear face masks.

  • Employers should work with workers, unions, etc., to implement a COVID-19 pandemic prevention program.

  • Employers should appoint a workplace coordinator who will oversee all aspects of the pandemic prevention program on behalf of the employer.

  • Employers need to identify how and where workers may be exposed to the virus.

  • Employers should implement a standard policy regarding separating and sending home employees who are infected or potentially infected with the virus.

  • Employers should have physical distancing rules in place in work and communal areas. If social distancing is not possible, then physical barriers should be put in place.

  • Employers should take the necessary steps to improve ventilation in all work facilities.

  • Employers should ensure that all workers have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) needed.

  • Employers should ensure that all workers have the necessary products for good hygiene practices.

  • Employers should perform regular cleaning and disinfecting of all work facilities. If an employee has been diagnosed with the virus, then all areas they were in should have enhanced cleaning and disinfection.  

There is a wide array of other guidelines recommended by OSHA, including how to address protecting workers who are at higher risks because of underlying medical issues and providing and properly training employees on all company COVID-19 policies and procedures in easily understandable and easily accessible formats. 

Contact a Larimer County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have become infected with the virus while working, you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim in order to receive benefits you may be entitled to. Contact Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. to have one of our dedicated Fort Collins work injury attorneys for COVID-19 help you file your claim. Call us today at 970-225-2190 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/21/executive-order-protecting-worker-health-and-safety/

https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

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Fort Collins, CO 80524

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