OSHA Releases Interim Enforcement Response Plan

Dentistry Today


The US Department Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced an interim response plan for the coronavirus pandemic that provides instructions and guidance to OSHA Area Offices and compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) for handling coronavirus-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports.

During the outbreak, OSHA Area Offices will use their inspection resources to fulfill mission-essential functions and protect workers exposed to the disease. The response plan contains interim procedures that allow flexibility and discretion for field offices to maximize OSHA’s impact in securing safe workplaces in this evolving environment. 

“OSHA is committed to protecting the health and safety of America’s workers during this challenging time in our nation’s history,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt. “Today’s guidance outlines common-sense procedures for investigating complaints related to the coronavirus, while also ensuring the safety of workers, employers, and inspectors.” 

The response plan outlines procedures for addressing reports of workplace hazards related to the coronavirus. Fatalities and imminent danger exposures related to the coronavirus will be prioritized for on-site inspections.

The response plan includes procedures and sample documentation for CSHOs to use during coronavirus-related inspections. Workers requesting inspections, complaining of coronavirus exposure, or reporting illnesses may be protected under one or more whistleblower statutes and will be informed of their protections from retaliation. 

This memorandum will take effect immediately and remain in effect until further notice. It is intended to be time-limited to the current public health crisis. OSHA will provide updates online.

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