OSHA recommends masks for many vaccinated workers

Diving letter:

  • Vaccinated workers in areas of significant or high transmission in the community should wear masks to protect unvaccinated workers, the Occupational Health and Safety Authority said in the instructions updated on August 13th.
  • In addition, vaccinated workers who come in close contact with people with coronavirus should wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least three to five days after exposure, according to OSHA.
  • The Agency’s updated guidelines also included recommendations for employers in the processing industry, meat and poultry processing, seafood processing and agricultural processing.

Dive Insight:

The updates largely replicate what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest, but could have implications for employers as these recommendations now come from OSHA.

“Although the updated guidelines are advisory rather than mandatory in nature and do not create any new legal obligations for employers, they do offer employers practical guidance on how to meet their obligation under OSHA’s general mandatory clause to provide a safe and healthy workplace free of charge from identified hazards.” , Lawyers from Proskauer wrote in a blog post. “As a result, employers may want to consult these guidelines – along with other applicable state, state, and local guidelines – when they update their COVID-19 re-entry and workplace health and safety guidelines.

The OSHA guidelines might be particularly noteworthy as the delta variant is growing rapidly in the US. the CDC transfer card showed that most counties in the country had “significant” or “high” transmission, which was recommended by OSHA.

It is important for employers who choose to require masks to develop a clear, written policy and enforce it consistently, an attorney previously told Construction Dive’s sister publication, HR Dive.

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