President Biden Urging OSHA to Create COVID Standard

BY Alex Ayers
1/21/2021 - HVAC Government Affairs

Today President Biden released a National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness including direction for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to determine if an emergency rule regarding coronavirus infections is necessary. If OSHA creates an emergency rule, business owners will have greater requirements to prevent worker infection and liability if a worker contracts the virus at work. The executive action today requires OSHA to release the rule by March 15 if it determines an emergency rule is necessary.

Last week Virginia was the first state to create a permanent worker safety rule after releasing a temporary rule last year. Virginia’s rule goes into effect on January 26th. Under the Virginia rule, employers are required to develop a workplace infection protection program and ensure employees are trained on the requirements. The standard requires social distancing, cleaning and disinfection protocols, and the use of face masks in the workplace and classifies jobs into high, medium, or low risk categories. The potential OSHA emergency rule will likely contain similar requirements.

Last year as locations re-opened HARDI developed a package of facilities sanitization resources. These resources can help distributors meet the requirements of the potential emergency rule.


HARDI will monitor OSHA’s actions on the emergency rule and continue to keep distributors informed of changes. If you have any questions about the emergency rule, please reach out to Alex Ayers (aayers@hardinet.org), if you have questions about the facilities sanitization resources reach out to Emily Saving.