ASA Will Comment on OSHA’s COVID-19 Healthcare ETS on Construction
On March 23, the OSHA published a limited reopening of the comment period and an informal public hearing on its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for healthcare (Subpart U). OSHA is seeking comment on possibly expanding the scope of the healthcare rule to cover some construction activities. Specifically, the notice states “A.6 - Limited Coverage of Construction Activities in Healthcare Settings: OSHA did not expressly include employers that engage in construction work in hospitals, long-term care facilities and other settings that are covered by the ETS. The construction industry was not included in OSHA’s industrial profile for the rule. OSHA is considering clarifying this coverage and seeks comment on this approach. For example, OSHA is considering the same coverage for workers engaged in construction work inside a hospital (e.g., installing new ventilation or new equipment or adding a new wall) as for workers engaged in maintenance work or custodial tasks in the same facility. OSHA could consider exceptions for construction work in isolated wings or other spaces where construction employees would not be exposed to patients or other staff.” ASA will be submitting comments to OSHA and will plan to attend the informal public hearing on April 27, 2022.