While federal and state COVID-19 requirements may be easing, OSHA head Doug Parker says that most employers are maintaining policies to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
In high-risk industries like healthcare and meat processing, employers seem to be acknowledging that COVID-19 is a continuing threat, Parker told Reuters in an April 27 interview.
“We’re not seeing any kind of mass exodus from basic precautions,” he said.
Agency still focused on pandemic
Parker acknowledged that OSHA is also still focused on the pandemic and is seeking to finalize a permanent COVID-19 rule for the healthcare industry.
The agency was sued by a group of unions to “expedite adoption of the healthcare rule, which the agency has said it needs more time to finalize.”
This process is well underway, according to Parker who mentioned that a four-day hearing on the rule began April 27, 2022.
After having several COVID-related mandates blocked in court, OSHA is now encouraging businesses to voluntarily adopt requirements to protect workers and the public, according to Parker.
“The ruling was unfortunate but it’s not stopping us from pressing employers to take adaptive measures to keep things in place,” Parker said.