Comply with OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards by July 6The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to address exposure to COVID-19 to workers in health care settings. These standards apply to skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, and Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled (ID/DD).
Employers must comply with most of these standards by July 6, 2021. There are exceptions to the sections on physical barriers, ventilation, and training, which must comply by July 21, 2021.
In addition, a webinar reviewing the ETS and the implications for AHCA/NCAL members is available.
Many of these ETS standards are already required under CDC, CMS, or other public health guidance. AHCA/NCAL recommends that providers start by:
Identifying a COVID-19 site safety coordinator and downloading the COVID-19 plan template.
Providers should use OSHA's COVID-19 Healthcare Worksite Checklist & Employee Job Hazard Analysis to identify what is already in place in their facility and plan and prioritize implementing what is not. OSHA has many resources on their ETS website to help employers meet these standards.
OSHA also offers an On-Site Consultation Program. This free and confidential consultation program provides occupational safety and health services to small- and medium-sized businesses. Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Resources are also available on the AHCA/NCAL website.
AHCA/NCAL encourages providers to document efforts of implementation and monitoring. This can be shared with an OSHA inspector if an onsite visit occurs to show what is in place, what's in progress, and the overall good faith efforts to meet the standards. For additional assistance, providers check out the OSHA ETS FAQs?.
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