As we begin a new year—2021—it is critical that your company stays informed about new occupational safety and health regulations, guidance, trends, and enforcement.
Here are some specific OSH law developments and trends related to COVID-19 that will impact workplaces and that you should keep in mind as you prepare for the remainder of 2021:
- Expect much more enforcement activity in 2021 from President Biden's OSHA. Be prepared by updating your policies, procedures, and protocols to reflect new CDC, local health department, and OSH guidance and regulations. For the latest on Fed/OSHA's new guidance see NP's new alert: "Fed/OSHA issues first wave of new COVID-19 guidance under the Biden administration."
- Although some state OSH programs (California, Oregon, Michigan, and Virginia) already have COVID-19 regulations, be prepared that Fed/OSHA will likely issue one in the next couple of months.
- Remember to ensure enforcement of your current COVID-19 policies and procedures and consider utilizing the anonymous hotline for internal reporting of COVID-19 issues.
- Before implementing any vaccination policy, consider all legal and logistical ramifications (see NP's December 2020 alert on "Mandatory vaccination programs: May employers stick it to their employees?").
Please reach out to me, my co-presenter, Benjamin J. Kim, or your Nixon Peabody Labor & Employment attorney with any questions you might have or to discuss how we can assist you in preparing for the year ahead.