Hospitals get more time to comment on new OSHA rules, but not to comply

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The U.S. Labor Department extended how long healthcare employers have to respond to new COVID-19 workplace safety rules, but not when employers need to implement the changes.

On July 8, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration extended the comment period for its emergency COVID-19 healthcare standards to Aug. 20. OSHA said it's extending the comment period to give providers more time to offer feedback.

The move is one win for the American Hospital Association, which had requested OSHA to delay the comment period by 30 days. The AHA had also asked that the compliance deadlines be pushed back six months, but OSHA didn't budge.

The rules, released June 10, include a requirement that healthcare employers give workers paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects. Most of the provisions had to be in effect within 14 days of the rule's June 21 publication in the federal register, with remaining provisions being in effect within 30 days. 

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