Home Health

OSHA withdraws most of health care ETS, at least temporarily

While a file rule is still expected in the future, OSHA announced Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, that it has withdrawn the non-recordkeeping portions of the health care emergency temporary standard (ETS). The COVID-19 log and reporting provisions remain in effect.

“These provisions were adopted under a separate provision of the OSH Act, section 8, and OSHA found good cause to forgo notice and comment in light of the grave danger presented by the pandemic,” according to an OSHA statement.

Noting the rise of the Omicron variant and plans for a final rule, “OSHA strongly encourages all healthcare employers to continue to implement the ETS’s requirements in order to protect employees from a hazard that too often causes death or serious physical harm to employees,” according to the statement.

OSHA noted in its statement that it will still “vigorously enforce” existing requirements around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and respiratory protection standards.

Continued adherence to the terms of the healthcare ETS is the simplest way for employers in healthcare settings to protect their employees’ health and ensure compliance with their OSH Act obligations.