OSHA: Precautions Can Be Dropped for Vaccinated Workers

authors QR Staff | June 14, 2021

Workplaces recently took another step toward normalcy.

In updated guidance dated June 10, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said “most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their fully vaccinated workers who are not otherwise at-risk from COVID-19 exposure”.

Exceptions to the guidance include states and localities that still have workplace requirements in place, or in situations where vaccinated employees remain susceptible to COVID-19 systems. It also does not apply to front line health care workers, who must comply with updated rules under an emergency temporary standard also issued on June 10.

OSHA, however, provided new details of requirements for owners and managers of any unvaccinated employees. Those guidelines include:

  • granting paid time off for employees to get vaccinated;
  • instructing any workers who are infected, unvaccinated workers who have had close contact with someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and all workers with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home from work;
  • implementing physical distancing for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers in all communal work areas;
  • providing unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers with face coverings or surgical masks, unless their work task requires a respirator or other PPE;
  • educating and training workers on your COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in language they understand;
  • suggesting that unvaccinated customers, visitors, or guests wear face coverings;
  • performing routine cleaning and disinfection;
  • recording and reporting COVID-19 infections and deaths;
  • implementing protections from retaliation and set up an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about COVID-19-related hazards; and
  • following other applicable mandatory OSHA standards for PPE requirements, respiratory protection, sanitation and others.

The full OSHA COVID-19 pages includes these guidance updates and a number of resources that can be followed. QR

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