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Biden administration to limit mandatory Covid workplace safety rules to healthcare facilities

“OSHA has adapted a rule that focuses on healthcare, this science tells us that healthcare workers, especially those who have come into regular contact with people suspected of having or being treated for Covid-19 are the most at risk, ”he said. during a hearing of the House Education and Labor Committee on Wednesday. “We also plan to release updated guidelines for the industry in general, which also reflect the latest CDC guidelines and tell employers how to protect workers who have not yet been vaccinated.”

The administration’s change of direction on workplace safety requirements is a disappointment to unions and Democrats who argue that precautions such as masking and social distancing are needed to protect unvaccinated workers at all locations. work, who may not be vaccinated for a variety of reasons.

President Joe Biden has ordered the Department of Labor to decide by March whether mandatory workplace safety rules that require companies to take action to protect their workers from Covid-19 are needed. After weeks of delay, the administration sent the emergency rules to the White House for review in late April.

Unions and other advocates have expressed concern about the stringency of safety regulations following the Centers for Disease Control’s surprise update of its guidelines in May, which allowed fully vaccinated people to remove masks in most settings. .

But business groups and conservatives argue that issuing strict safety requirements at the end of the pandemic would create confusion and undermine economic recovery just as businesses try to get back to normal.

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