OSHA Issues New Guidance for Protecting Unvaccinated or Otherwise At-risk Workers from Exposure to COVID-19

On June 10, 2021, OSHA updated its COVID-19 guidance from January 29, 2021, which we discussed here. OSHA also issued a new Emergency Temporary Standard as to COVID-19 compliance in healthcare, which will be the subject of a separate and forthcoming alert.

In its updated guidance, OSHA recognizes that unless otherwise required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their fully vaccinated workers who are not otherwise at-risk from COVID-19 exposure. Thus, the updated guidance focuses only on protecting unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces (or well-defined portions of workplaces). OSHA defines at-risk workers as those with conditions such as a prior transplant or those taking immune-weakening medications such that the vaccine does not fully protect them. The agency advises that employers should apply the same protections for such employees as they do for the unvaccinated workers, regardless of their vaccination status.

Read the full alert here.
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