SCOTUS Scuttles OSHA’s ETS on COVID-19 Testing, Vaccination

Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh hopes employers ontinue to promote vaccination and testing for employees, despite the U.S. Supreme Court decision that halted OSHA ETS for vaccination-or-testing mandate.
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh hopes employers continue to promote vaccination and testing for employees, despite the U.S. Supreme Court decision that halted OSHA ETS for vaccination-or-testing mandate.

In an unsigned opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has ruled against the Biden administration and halted enforcement of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard mandating that companies with 100 or more employees require vaccination or weekly testing for COVID-19. The ETS impacted more than 84 million workers in thousands of workplaces around the country and SCOTUS’ opinion makes it clear the majority of justices believe OSHA’s ETS overstepped the agency’s mandate to protect employees from workplace hazards.

Under the standard, covered employers were required to develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face … Read more...

Majority of Private Sector Workforce in U.S. Impacted by OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Standard

Occupational Safety and Health Administrationannounces an emergency temporary standard to protect more than 84 million workers from the spread of coronavirus.
84 million workers covered under an emergency temporary standard aimed at protecting workers from coronavirus.

The waiting and speculation is over: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a new emergency temporary standard to protect more than 84 million workers from the spread of the coronavirus on the job. It is estimated two-thirds of workers in the private sector are included in this mandate.

Under this standard, covered employers—which includes any employer with 100 or more employees total—must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.

Since 2020, the coronavirus has led to the deaths of 750,000 people in the United States, and the infection of millions more, making it the deadliest pandemic in the nation’s history. Many of … Read more...

Managing Worker Health in a Post-COVID World

The work on containing the virus continues, with a combination of controls such as masking and social distancing, vaccinations and boosters, contact tracking and tracing along with high-specificity, rapid testing that enables targeted quarantining around known outbreaks rather than widespread lockdowns.
The work on containing the virus continues, with a combination of controls such as masking and social distancing, vaccinations and boosters, contact tracking and tracing along with high-specificity, rapid testing that enables targeted quarantining around known outbreaks rather than widespread lockdowns.

Post-COVID, you say? Is the post-COVID dream real, or will we be dealing with it in some way, shape or form for years to come?

Even 18+ months into this pandemic, there are still too many uncertainties to make definitive statements regarding the future. We don’t have the answers regarding long-term immunity from infection and/or vaccine, we don’t know the seasonal impact of the virus and we can’t begin to guess how the virus may mutate or evolve in the future. Depending on the answers to these questions and others, we could see anything from annual winter outbreaks to permanent immunity, which would cause the virus to burn itself … Read more...

What Does the COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for U.S. Government Contractors Mean for You?

A COVID-19 vaccine mandate recently issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force affects nearly all federal contractors
A COVID-19 vaccine mandate recently issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force affects nearly all federal contractors.

A recent vaccination mandate from the U.S. government will have a tremendous impact on the workforce of contractors and subcontractors that have contracts with the federal government. Many employers and employees are facing decisions they never expected to have to make.

A COVID-19 vaccine mandate recently issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force affects nearly all federal contractors. The COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors requires the employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated by December 8 and imposes other pandemic-related workplace safety requirements.

On September 9, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan. One of the main goals of the plan is to get more people vaccinated. As part of that plan, the president signed Executive Order 14042, … Read more...

COVID-19 Delta Variant: 42% of Workers Are Worried about Returning to the Workplace

Due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, more workers than ever are concerned about returning to work.

As the Delta variant continues to proliferate and workers head into the Labor Day weekend, 42 percent say they are worried about returning to the workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19. This marks a substantial jump from June 2021, when only 24 percent had that concern.

“With headlines about the rise of the Delta variant, breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, and an overburdened healthcare system in much of the country, COVID-19 concerns that were subsiding just two months ago have risen,” said Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President of Human Capital at The Conference Board, a think tank.

Conducted in August by The Conference Board, the new survey captured the thoughts of more than 2,400 U.S. workers on topics including return-to-work anxiety, factors driving them to pursue new job opportunities, opinions about … Read more...

ILO Director-General Urges G20 to Focus on a Human-Centered Pandemic Recovery

In 2020, the equivalent of 161 million full-time jobs were lost in the G20, and 255 million in the world as a whole.

Speaking at the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting in Catania, Italy, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder emphasised the need to prevent long-term scarring of economies and societies and to shape an inclusive, sustainable and resilient response that leaves no one behind.

“We are all aware of the devastating impact of the pandemic on our health, our lives, our societies, our economies,” said Ryder, adding, “It has had a cataclysmic impact on the world of work.”

He went on to highlight three aspects of the pandemic and how the impact was felt in the workplace.

In 2020, he noted, the equivalent of 161 million full time jobs were lost in the G20, and 255 million in the world as a whole. As a result:

  • The number of people
Read more...

OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard to Protect Healthcare Workers from COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on June 10 it will issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. The standard focuses on healthcare workers most likely to have contact with someone infected with the virus.

In addition to the healthcare-focused ETS, OSHA is issuing updated guidance to help employers and workers in other industries protect workers who are still not vaccinated, with a special emphasis on other industries noted for prolonged close-contacts like meat processing, manufacturing, seafood and grocery and high-volume retail. The agency also issued a new general industry guidance, and both the guidance and the ETS are aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Too many of our frontline healthcare workers continue to be at high risk of contracting the coronavirus,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “As I said when … Read more...

Catch Up on the News: What You Might Have Missed on the ILX.com Blog

The ILX.com blog features thought leadership, new product information, trending topics, regulatory updates and much more! Have you checked it out?

If not, you missed these interesting articles, but it’s not too late to read them!

Best Practices for Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries – Despite many improvements over the last century, serious injuries, work-related fatalities and property loss remain a significant global challenge in different high-hazard industries. Improved risk identification, control and management can reduce risks to employees, facilities and the surrounding area. Our latest Expert Connection session, Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries, is designed to examine the elements of risk management, particularly in high hazard industries, and the technologies being used to mitigate risk. Find out more!

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging: Intelex Hosts its First Employee Resources Groups Summit – Last week, our Employee Resources Groups (ERG) hosted our first ERG Summit. Our ERGs worked hard to … Read more...

WHO Report on COVID-19 Response Shows the Importance of Organizational Learning and System Preparedness

In May 2021, The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response presented its final report on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the World Health Organization. A significant lesson from the report is that standard EHSQ practices could have improved the COVID-19 response, reinforcing the importance of organizational learning and system preparedness.

The report, titled COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic, aims to provide insights into how the world responded to the fast-moving pandemic in its early stages, as well as how to learn the important lessons that can mitigate the impact of future health crises. While the report contains many frustrating and heart-breaking insights, EHSQ professionals will probably recognize some familiar themes. This summary will provide some examples of important elements of the COVID-19 response and the lessons we can learn from them.

Summary of the Impact of COVID-19

The report describes COVID-19 as the 21st century’s … Read more...

Douglas L. Parker Nominated by U.S. President Biden for Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health

As head of Cal-OSHA, California’s workplace safety organization, Douglas Parker was responsible for implementing and enforcing that state’s emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Douglas L. Parker for Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, Department of Labor. Parker, as the director of Cal-OSHA, California’s workplace safety agency, directed that state’s efforts to implement an emergency workplace COVID standard. The Biden administration continues to weigh whether or not it should issue an emergency temporary standard that includes Covid-19-related workplace safety regulations.

Parker, of San Francisco, Calif., previously served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration and was a member of the Biden-Harris transition team focused on worker health and safety issues. He also held positions as a senior policy advisor and special assistant at the Department … Read more...