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Pushback on OSHA COVID-19 standard leads to extended comment period

If you felt aggravated by OSHA’s rush to implement an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare workers against COVID-19, you are not alone. By late July more than 130 individuals and organizations, representing hospitals and associations, doctor’s offices, health systems, medical clinics, and long-term care facilities, have submitted comments on the interim rule that took up 258 pages when printed in the Federal Register.

Issued on June 21, most of the requirements were to be implemented within 14 days, although some requirements like physical barriers between some workstations were not required for 30 days.

Then OSHA announced on July 8 that it was extending the comment period until August 20 on the interim rule that creates a new Subpart U in the OSHA standards. The federal agency was asking, among other things, whether the emergency temporary requirements should become permanent.

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