OSHA recently announced that they would be issuing new mandates to ensure your organization continues following COVID-19 protocols. This news comes as a surprise from the federal government as many states like Texas and Florida have already allowed mask mandates to come down.
The Biden administration is considering reinstating mask and social distancing protocols in the workplace. This ruling would be carried out by OSHA and various state-run versions of the agency, making it a matter of workplace safety compliance for all private-sector employers in the U.S. OSHA collected around $4.2 million in fines from 369 private workplaces for general duty violations in 2020.
So, it’s clear that the present government will strongly enforce COVID-19 protocols once again – but they are likely to follow Virginia’s model (instead of California’s) which provides a more flexible rule that allows employers to assess the risk and exposure level of each job, and modify the mandates accordingly. Risk categories can range from very high, high, medium, to low, with the highest risk belonging to jobs related to certain medical procedures and handling lab results for COVID patients, and the lowest risk belonging to jobs that involve little interaction or include physical barriers. The Biden administration will possibly make a version of this model a temporary emergency standard and pressure states to follow suit.
There are two camps of dealing with COVID-19 – some want to follow the protocols, others don’t think it’s necessary at this point. Similarly, some states will enforce these emergency standard mandates relating to COVID-19 workplace safety and others may be disinclined to do so. Further, some occupational safety law experts suggest that the science surrounding the coronavirus isn’t certain enough to rationalize a mandatory standard.
With so many points to note, it may seem overwhelming to stay in compliance with health safety laws as well as run your organization. One possible safeguard is to insure your nonprofit with general liability insurance or employee benefits insurance. Talk to the experts at Carriage Trade Insurance today to find a policy that is right for your organization, without going over your budget.