On April 22, ABC, as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, submitted comments in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s request for additional comment on its “potential provisions or approaches” to a final Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings rule. CISC opposes OSHA’s proposal to expand coverage under any promulgated final rule and include certain construction work in health care settings.
CISC wrote, “These comments support the agency’s original determination not to include the construction industry within the scope of this rule. An expansion of the Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings rule is inappropriate and expanding the rule to cover employers in low-risk industries, like construction, only months after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard was not authorized by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, is bewildering.”
The comments further addressed:
- Deficiencies in the process taken by OSHA in promulgating this rule;
- The low risk posed by COVID-19 in the construction industry;
- Difficulties in applying the health care emergency temporary standard to construction; and
- Recommendations, based on industry experience, on how to best mitigate the risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19 in construction.
In addition to the comments, CISC will be testifying at the agency’s informal public hearing on the rule on Friday, April 29. More information about the hearing is available on the OSHA website.
ABC also submitted comments on April 22 as a steering committee member of the Coalition for Workplace Safety. The CWS believes unequivocally that OSHA is not permitted to, and must not, issue a permanent standard after having withdrawn the health care emergency temporary standard in December 2021.
ABC will continue to provide updates in Newsline.