Posted by osha.gov on 6/10/2021 to News
Emergency Temporary Standard
OSHA has issued an emergency temporary standard that requires employers to help protect healthcare workers in settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are TREATED.
What is an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)?
Answer OSHA issues an emergency temporary standard (ETS) under limited circumstances. The agency must determine that workers are exposed to a grave danger from new hazards or toxic substances or agents determined to be physically harmful and that an ETS is needed to protect them. Once published in the Federal Register, an ETS takes effect immediately and remains in effect until replaced by a permanent standard. The ETS also serves as a proposal for a permanent standard and is subject to the usual notice and comment rulemaking procedure for adopting a permanent standard except that it must be finalized within six months. State Plans are required to have an ETS that is at least as effective as an ETS issued by federal OSHA 30 days following publication. OSHA's newly published ETS to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 is the first one issued in 38 years.
The ETS is aimed at protecting workers facing the highest COVID-19 hazards—those working in healthcare settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated. This includes employees in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities; emergency responders; home healthcare workers; and employees in ambulatory care facilities where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated.
It does not apply to:
- First aid performed by an employee who is not a licensed healthcare provider;
- Dispensing of prescriptions by pharmacists in retail settings;
- Non-hospital ambulatory care settings where all non-employees are screened prior to entry and people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter those settings;
- Well-defined hospital ambulatory care settings where all employees are fully vaccinated and all non-employees are screened prior to entry and people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter those settings;
- Home healthcare settings where all employees are fully vaccinated and all nonemployees are screened prior to entry and people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not present;
- Healthcare support services not performed in a healthcare setting (e.g., off-site laundry, off-site medical billing); or
- Telehealth services performed outside of a setting where direct patient care occurs.
Click here to view summary: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA4120.pdf
Click here to view ETS: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/covid-19-healthcare-ets-reg-text.pdf