The OSHA ETS is Coming: Are You Prepared?
May 25, 2021
Several weeks have passed since an emergency temporary standard (ETS) for COVID-19 was submitted to the White House. As a result, each day that passes may bring us closer to the ETS rules going into effect. While the specifics of the ETS will not be known until it is published, given the rigidity of the COVID ETS implemented in California by Doug Parker (who at the time was the leader of the California Division of OSHA) before he was appointed as the Head of OSHA, it’s understood that once published, the policy’s requirements for employers (it will impact any organization with more than ten employees), as well as enforcement of the policy itself, will be strict. As a result, it is imperative that organizations begin preparations as soon as possible for its release. There are no downsides to taking the steps outlined below; organizations that do not take such steps will be at a disadvantage, if not directly negatively impacted by a lack of preparation, once the rules are published.
What can you do right now to ensure that your organization is in the best position possible to quickly and seamlessly adapt to comply with the ETS? One of the easiest and least expensive routes is to utilize a risk management platform, such as Aclaimant. Aclaimant offers a free trial of our COVID-19 Return to Work Module, which covers all of the steps an organization should take to best manage its COVID-19 response: Plan, Prevent, Mitigate, Defend, and Monitor.
The Plan step is all about laying the right groundwork from the start so that things are in order should any incidents occur. It walks employers through classifying their workplace risks according to regulation and helps them audit the effectiveness of their return to work program. The Prevention step focuses on the day-to-day tasks that can be implemented to keep COVID-19 exposure from occurring; it includes assessing and documenting risks at worksites, surveying employees for safe re-entry to the workplace, and assessing behavior to determine whether it is safe or unsafe. The Mitigation step comes into play when an employee/individual contracts COVID-19; it includes easy reporting of COVID-19 exposure and a tool for tracing which employees might have been exposed. The Defend step offers long-term peace of mind; it centers around tracking and retaining all documentation related to a COVID-19 exposure event so that it can be easily accessed and used should legal events occur in the future. Finally, the Monitor step is just what it sounds like--it helps employers keep their finger on the pulse of relevant activity; this includes tracking quarantine and return to work schedules after an exposure event has occurred, as well as dashboards keeping tabs on the COVID-19 statuses of each state and all activities across their organization.
Properly managing workplace safety and risk when it comes to COVID-19 is a huge and critical undertaking. With numerous considerations and no current federal regulations, it can be difficult to know where to start. Utilizing a platform like Aclaimant takes the guessing out of safety and guides organizations through the proper protocols for dealing with COVID-19.