Rumors had long circulated throughout Washington, D.C. that the incoming Biden administration would take steps to create a new workplace safety policy with uniform OSHA guidelines for employers. On January 21, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order directing OSHA to issue revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and an Emergency Temporary Standard, if necessary, by March 15. On January 29, OSHA did issue such a guidance, though not a standard or regulation. It creates no new legal obligations but does provide insight to employers about what OSHA may include in the expected Emergency Temporary Standard that will likely have mandatory requirements. The new guidance provides employers recommendations on hazard assessments, developing a communications program, training workers, performing enhanced cleaning, recordkeeping, vaccinations at no cost, physical barriers, and PPE use of face coverings over the nose and mouth.

Manufacturers can view the new OSHA guidance here: