Nurses union urges OSHA to institute permanent COVID-19 protections for healthcare workers

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National Nurses United urged the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration Nov. 3 to adopt a permanent standard on COVID-19 in healthcare institutions, building on the emergency temporary standard adopted June 2020, according to a press release.

The union said the standard should be built on the agency's current emergency temporary standards. 

Their recommendations for the standards include: 

  • Requiring all healthcare employers to have written infection control safety and implementation plans.

  • Providing all nurses and other frontline healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 with optimal personal protective equipment, including respiratory protection, eye protection, protective clothing, and gloves.

  • Protective requirements on notification of health care employees exposed to Covid-19 in the workplace, and provision of pay and benefits for those who must take time off as a result of exposure or infection.

  • Mandates on screening and testing of patients and visitors, mask wearing, physical distancing, and ventilation.

Read the full letter here.

 

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