OSHA Launches National Emphasis Program and Enforcement to Protect Workers at High Risk from Coronavirus Transmission

OSHA Launches National Emphasis Program and Enforcement to Protect Workers at High Risk from Coronavirus Transmission

by Jo-Anne Audette-Arruda, on March 24, 2021
On Friday, March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initiated a national emphasis program (NEP) to ensure that workers in certain high-risk industries receive the necessary protections from Coronavirus Transmission while at work. This mandate is the result of President Biden’s January 21 Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety during the pandemic. In addition to the NEP, OSHA will focus enforcement efforts on coronavirus inspections such as follow-up inspections from 2020, complaints, and reports of retaliation.

While the COVID-19 NEP became effective March 12, OSHA will begin targeted and programmed inspections on March 26. Targeted industries are prioritized either as Primary or Secondary. Primary means OSHA data shows the highest number of workers to have exposure to the coronavirus, such as healthcare. The Primary target list includes healthcare, including medical and dental offices and non-healthcare industries such as restaurants and grocery stores. The Secondary list includes those industries with a higher frequency of close contact to the public or co-workers, mainly non-healthcare essential workers. The Secondary list focuses on manufacturing, construction, and retail stores such as nursery/garden centers and general merchandise.

On January 29, OSHA updated its Coronavirus guidance to ensure clear and up-to-date recommendations based upon science, best practices, and standards. This updated guidance can help you ensure that your COVID-19 program hits the mark in creating an effective program to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace.

As always, your Risk Management team is available to assist you in making your workplace safe as well as compliant with OSHA regulations and recommendations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance. Simply email: safety@landrumhr.com, and a Risk Consultant will be in touch shortly!
Jo-Anne Audette-Arruda

Jo-Anne is the Director of Risk Management for LandrumHR and is responsible for leading a team of safety and workers’ compensation professionals and providing workers’ compensation claims management, OSHA reporting / record keeping, OSHA and state compliance assistance services, training, safety inspections/audits, ergonomic assessments, and accident investigation & analysis services to LandrumHR clients.

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