Posted 1 month ago - by

What Employers Should Know About OSHA’s new National Emphasis Program in Regard to COVID-19

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) that aims to protect employees that are at “high-risk” for contracting COVID-19. The announcement was made on March 12, 2021 and addresses employers who retaliate against employees who have safety concerns about their current working conditions during the pandemic. The program is temporary and will focus funds from OSHA on specific hazardous industries.

OSHA will ramp up inspections of eligible worksites where workers are deemed “high-risk” and conduct follow-up inspections on worksites that were visited in 2020. Compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) will be checking for things like the availability of protective equipment, infection control procedures and sanitation measures.

The goal is to significantly reduce or eliminate exposure to COVID-19 by targeting industries in which employees have a high frequency of close contact and therefore put the effort to control the health hazards associated with those exposures. In addition to targeted inspection, OSHA will be offering outreach to employers and compliance assistance to those that need it. This NEP went into effect on March 18th, 2021 and will remain in effect until further notice.

High-risk workplaces include but are not limited to:

  • Schools
  • Emergency response
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted living
  • Laboratories
  • Morgues
  • Manufacturing
  • Food processing centers and plants
  • High-volume retail

Similarly, certain employers are required to maintain records of COVID-19 in the workplaces if the employee is infected with the virus as a result of performing duties at work and if the following criteria set by OSHA is met:

Even if a workplace does not follow under one of the high-risk industries detailed above, employers should be prepared for a possible rise in inspections for all OSHA-covered organizations. It is also advised to note that employers must provide their workers with a safe workplace and must follow all OSHA standards by law.

Until the pandemic is over, employers should expect the ever-changing legislation to continue. It is important that to keep up to date with not only OSHA standards but any other local or federal department and consult with your trusted advisors before taking action in any situation.

Is there anything Payroll Systems can help you with as you accommodate rapid legislation changes? Reach out and talk to us about the easy-to-scale solutions you need for your business.

Related Posts

California Overtime Laws in 2021

California overtime law dictates when and how an employee must be paid wages for overtime work Under this law, employers must pay all eligible employees working in the state of California additional...

Read more...

6 Things to Consider When Hiring Employees for the First Time

Taking that step from being self-employed to an employer can be both scary and exciting This means that your business is at a point where it is ready to take the next step to expand and on the...

Read more...

Paycheck Protection Program Runs Out for Most Businesses – What Programs Are Still Available?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced on May 4th that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has run out of money for most businesses The PPP was originally expected to end on May 31st but...

Read more...

Does Your Organization Have a Long-Term Remote Work Strategy?

Looking back on this past year, it is clear to see just how adaptive organizations had to be in order to make it this far One of the biggest workplace changes brought on by the pandemic was the shift...

Read more...

More Information on The Restaurant Revitalization Fund and How to Apply

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) is the most recent of the three stimulus bills that have passed since the start of the pandemic ARPA included a separate relief fund called...

Read more...

IRS Shares Clarifying Guidance on Temporary 100% Deduction for Meal Expenses

The IRS has issued guidance on the 100% deductibility for food or beverage provided by a restaurant The 100% deduction is temporary and only applies to expenses that are paid or incurred after...

Read more...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.