NRCA recently joined a Construction Industry Safety Coalition effort to send a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration urging the agency to recognize the unique aspects of construction when developing the Emergency Temporary Standard addressing COVID-19. Unlike the typical rulemaking process, OSHA is not required to accept public input when developing an ETS.
As part of President Biden’s Path out of the Pandemic COVID-19 Action Plan, OSHA has been directed to develop a rule to “require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.” The emergency rule also will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are feeling ill post-vaccination.
The coalition supports Biden’s goal of increasing vaccinations among the population and has undertaken numerous efforts to increase worker awareness of and access to vaccines in the construction industry. However, Biden’s plan provides little detail regarding how OSHA is to apply and craft the regulatory approach to implement President Biden’s mandate. Given the importance of this initiative and the significant implications for the construction industry, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition submitted a letter to ensure OSHA understands some key issues of concern for the construction industry.