(c) 2010-2024 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

OSHA Finally Acts: Is It Too Little and Too Late?

Today OSHA released a COVID Emergency Temporary Standard [ETS] for health care workers and guidance for workers, not in a health care setting. OSHA’s action comes about a year and a half after the COVID-19 Pandemic began and when over half of the nation’s workforce has already the protection of received an initial vaccination.


While the ETS will have reporting and enforcement criteria, the voluntary guidance for other workplaces will not have any legal status or enforcement potential. The majority of workers in the US are employed in a non-healthcare setting. 

The confusion of how employers and their insurance companies can adequately safeguard the workplace has now created a legal ambiguity. Workers’ Compensation insurance provides only a remedial and statutorily limited recovery basis. Both paid-time-off and medical insurance coverage for COVID-19 claims remain unanswered. All workers should be protected by OSHA through enforceable standards. The civil legal liability for failure to take appropriate precautions and protocols will now create a long, uncertain, and arduous road ahead through litigation. This could have been avoided, and the health of workers fully protected,  if OSHA had acted with greater speed and diligence.


OSHA COVID-19 Healthcare ETS


OSHA Updated  Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace


Related Articles

With Only 41% of U.S. Vaccinated, Biden Abandons Promised COVID Workplace Safety Regulations, Payday Report June 10, 2021

Biden Just Decided Not to Protect Meatpacking Workers from COVID Mother Jones 6/11/2021


OSHA issues a new Covid safety rule, but only for the health care industry NYTimes 6/10/2021

New Covid workplace safety rules snag health care, spare other industries Politico 6/10/2021

COVID-19: A lesson for the workers’ compensation industry 5/11/2021


Death by Overwork 5/30/21


Dental Professionals at Increased Risk for COVID-19 6/3/2021


NJ Governor Murphy Signs Legislation and Executive Order Ending COVID-19 Public Health Emergency 6/4/2021


Contractual Choice of Law Law Held Governing 6/6/2021


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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation

Twitter: jongelman

LinkedIn: JonGelman

LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group

Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" Thomson-Reuters