Are OSHA’s industry-specific guidance documents as effective at preventing the spread of the coronavirus as an infectious disease control standard would be?
At least one prominent government official thinks they are.
In a recent letter responding to a request by the AFL-CIO for OSHA to develop a standard to control infectious diseases, U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia argued that industry-specific guidance is more informative for employees and companies than a regulation would be.
Scalia said the guidance documents provide employers with information specific to their workplaces. In contrast, a new standard would burden employers and overwhelm OSHA with meaningless information.
Your best bet: Don’t hold your breath waiting for OSHA to develop an infectious disease standard. As long as the Trump administration is in charge, there will be no such rule.
(From the May 18, 2020, issue of OSHA Compliance News. To download the rest of the issue, please click here.)