As urged by the AHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it will extend to Aug. 20 the deadline for submitting comments on its COVID-19 health care emergency temporary standard. The original deadline for comments was July 21.

OSHA last month published an ETS for occupational exposure to COVID-19 that requires health care employers to take certain steps to protect their workers in settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated. The ETS is effective immediately, and employers must comply with most provisions as of July 6, and with the physical barriers, ventilation and training requirements by July 21.

The AHA last week urged OSHA to delay by six months its compliance dates for implementing the ETS to give hospitals and health systems time to implement the policy’s many new requirements. In a letter sent to AHA, OSHA said it would not extend the compliance dates. OSHA also responded to a number of other issues AHA raised in its letter.

Meanwhile, OSHA also has released its field inspection and enforcement procedures for enforcing the ETS.
 

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