Some temporary OSHA protections for healthcare workers expire

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Dec. 28 that non-recordkeeping portions of the emergency temporary standard for healthcare workers, which includes rules regarding patient screening and certain medical management, will no longer be enforced, but rules regarding logs and recordings will remain in effect.

The temporary standard, adopted in June 2021, is intended to be in place for six months, but new rules, as required by Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, have not yet been written. More than 40 organizations signed a petition Dec. 16 asking the agency to adopt a permanent standard. The agency said it plans to issue a final rule.

Non-recordkeeping portions of the standard included measures regarding patient screening and management, medical management and more, according to The National Law Review.

The agency said that it will continue to enforce general duty clauses and standards in the meantime, including those pertaining to personal protective equipment and respiratory protection standards. 

"With the rise of the Delta variant this fall, and now the spread of the Omicron variant this winter, OSHA believes the danger faced by healthcare workers continues to be of the highest concern and measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are still needed to protect them," the agency said.


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