On June 21, 2021, OSHA adopted a Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard (Healthcare ETS) protecting workers from COVID-19 in settings where they provide healthcare or healthcare support services. 86 FR 32376. Under the OSH Act, an ETS is effective until superseded by a permanent standard – a process contemplated by the OSH Act to occur within 6 months of the ETS’s promulgation. 29 U.S.C. 655(c).
OSHA announces today that it intends to continue to work expeditiously to issue a final standard that will protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 hazards, and will do so as it also considers its broader infectious disease rulemaking. However, given that OSHA anticipates a final rule cannot be completed in a timeframe approaching the one contemplated by the OSH Act, OSHA also announces today that it is withdrawing the non-recordkeeping portions of the healthcare ETS. The COVID-19 log and reporting provisions, 29 CFR 1910.502(q)(2)(ii), (q)(3)(ii)-(iv), and (r), 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. See 86 FR 32559.