On Jan. 26, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it is withdrawing its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, which applied to employers with 100 or more employees. The withdrawal is effective Jan. 26.
Although OSHA is withdrawing the ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency has left the door open to consider issuance of a new standard conforming to the Supreme Court’s ruling, following receipt of recent comments. No timetable for any such action has been set, and no OSHA standard applicable to COVID-19 in construction is imminent.
On Jan. 19, ABC submitted comments to OSHA on the ETS stating, “It is clear to ABC, based upon the Supreme Court’s decision, that the ETS cannot be enforced in its present form and should therefore be withdrawn. Any attempt by OSHA to proceed with the ETS or to develop a new standard following notice and comment that does not satisfy the Supreme Court’s criteria will again be challenged in the courts by ABC.”
ABC, as a steering committee member, also joined the Construction Industry Safety Coalition’s comment letter to OSHA.
On Jan. 13, ABC applauded the U.S. Supreme Court for reinstating the stay on the OSHA ETS. On behalf of the construction industry, ABC filed one of the emergency appeals to the Supreme Court leading to this successful outcome.
ABC members should continue to monitor these developments in Newsline and the Beltway Blueprint.