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On Thursday, November 4, The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) released a new emergency temporary standard (ETS) for employee COVID-19 testing and vaccination. In this blog, we take a look at what the ETS entails and how organizations should respond to remain compliant.

*Editor's Note: As of Nov. 16, 2021, OSHA has suspended the enforcement of their ETS pending future developments in litigation against the standard. Though, it has stated that it “remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies," meaning organizations with 100 or more employees shouldn’t bet on the ETS going away anytime soon. We will keep this article updated as the story develops.

The ETS At a Glance

  • What's the news? The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new emergency temporary standard (ETS) for employee COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
  • Who does it impact? All private employers with 100 or more employees (some exceptions apply).
  • *When does it take effect? November 5, with a compliance deadline of December 5 for most provisions and January 4, 2022 for testing requirements to be in place.

The Challenge

The new ETS will require employers to develop, implement, and enforce "a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work." The policy "will apply on a company-wide basis, rather than on the number of employees at a particular site," according to a senior advisor at OSHA.

With the new ETS, OSHA will be planning workplace inspections, during which agents will be ensuring organizations are in compliance with the rule. According to The National Law review, "violations of the new ETS would be likely be considered either 'serious' or 'willful.' The current maximum penalty for a 'serious' violation is $13,653 per violation. The current maximum penalty for a 'willful' violation is $136,532."

In our recent Quick Take, we break down the complex challenges that this new ETS creates for organizations and guidance for how to stand up a vaccination and testing program.

The Solution

As a response to the immediate need for organizations to address these new challenges, we have expanded our award-winning COVID-19 Solution Suite to include Vaccine Booster Tracking and Employee COVID Test Results Tracking

Learn more about how our solution can help your organization maintain compliance in our 35-minute demo and overview video.

Answers to Common Questions

  • For questions related to the new ETS, visit OSHA's dedicated resource page here.
  • To get answers to commonly asked questions about Origami's COVID-19 Booster Tracking & Employee Test Results Tracking solution, watch our on-demand Q&A here.
  • If you have a question specific to how Origami can help your organization remain compliant with the new ETS, reach out to us here. We'll be in touch as soon as possible.
If you have an urgent need related to the ETS, please reach out to us at info@origamirisk.com.  If you need related collateral for decision-makers in your organization, download our solution brochure. To learn more about our COVID-19 solutions, visit our solution overview page, COVID-19 Resources Library, or start a conversation with us.