President Joe Biden ordered OSHA to issue new COVID-19 guidance, while considering a national emergency temporary standard that could provide a scorecard for workplace infections.
The directive could lead to standardizing the reporting and tracking of people exposed to the virus in the workplace. A national emergency temporary standard (ETS) would be enforceable by OSHA and give contractors a single checklist for COVID-19 compliance.
To date, COVID-19 workplace practices are governed by a patchwork of state, local, and federal rules. Some states have issued ETS for COVID-19, but there is no single set of rules across industries.
Some contractors say the hodgepodge of rules, with a lack of clarity about which ones apply to which jobsites, has hurt productivity and raised costs.