OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS

Emergency Temporary Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS)to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.

COVID-19 was not known to exist until January 2020, and since then nearly 745,000 people, many of them workers, have died from the disease in the U.S. alone. At the present time, workers are continually becoming seriously ill and dying as a result of occupational exposures to COVID-19. OSHA expects that the Vaccination and Testing ETS will result in approximately 23 million individuals becoming vaccinated. The agency has conservatively estimated that the ETS will prevent over 6,500 deaths and over 250,000 hospitalizations. In issuing the ETS, OSHA has made several important determinations:

Unvaccinated Workers Face Grave Danger:

Unvaccinated workers are much more likely to contract and transmit COVID-19 in the workplace than vaccinated workers. OSHA has determined that many employees in the U.S. who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 face grave danger from exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. This finding of grave danger is based on the severe health consequences associated with exposure to the virus along with evidence demonstrating the transmissibility of the virus in the workplace and the prevalence of infections in employee populations. The evidence for the finding of a grave danger is in Section III.A. of the ETS preamble.

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