OSHA submitted its proposed permanent COVID-19 healthcare standard to the White House Office of Management and Budget for final review on Dec. 7.
The agency officially withdrew its COVID-19 healthcare emergency temporary standard (ETS) on Dec. 22, 2021, and declared it would continue working on issuing a permanent standard as quickly as possible.
Review by the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs “is one of the last steps in the regulatory process before the Federal Register publishes a final rule,” according to law firm Seyfarth Shaw.
The law firm states that while the rule isn’t public at this time “healthcare sector employers should be aware of this development to prepare for compliance in the coming months, likely the first quarter of 2023.”
Requirements could mirror ETS
This permanent standard’s requirements will likely mirror those of the ETS, which most hospitals retained even after the ETS was withdrawn.
However, there could be new requirements and protocols in the permanent standard, and healthcare employers need to keep that in mind.
Further, stakeholders should also be aware that OSHA is still working on a broader infectious disease rulemaking that was listed on the 2022 spring regulatory agenda.