Washington — OSHA is working “expeditiously” on an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination and testing, acting agency administrator Jim Frederick said during an Oct. 7 webinar hosted by the National Safety Council.
Frederick didn’t provide a time frame for when the ETS might be issued.
“We’re considering the scope and the terms of the potential ETS as described by [President Joe Biden],” Frederick said. “We know that the pandemic will continue to evolve, and we’ll continue to monitor vaccination trend data, variants of the virus and other factors that will guide our continued efforts to ensure workers are protected from the virus while they’re on the job.”
Biden announced Sept. 9 that OSHA is developing an ETS that will require employers with at least 100 workers to “ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”
Frederick acknowledged that the “expedited nature” of an ETS “unfortunately” doesn’t allow for public comment before its publication. However, he said the ETS essentially serves as a proposed rule and would allow for comments that could guide the drafting of a permanent standard, if OSHA chooses to issue one.
“We do hear everyone,” Frederick said. “We have heard issues from every source possible and are certainly taking into account everything that we can as we move through the process.”
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