Apr 16, 2020

OSHA Issues COVID-19 Enforcement Plan

OSHA COVID-19 Inspector

OSHA has issued an “interim enforcement response plan”, effective immediately, to guide its field offices in conducting evaluations of workplace safety for protections against COVID-19.  The plan requires that OSHA inspectors be judicious in use of in-person worksite inspections, and that they be trained in how to identify workers who likely have COVID-19.  The inspectors must also be provided personal protective equipment and decontamination products.

Among other things, the enforcement plan:

  • provides guidance for assessing the COVID-19 risk level of a workplace to determine whether it should be raised in priority for an in-person inspection;
  • provides guidance for determining whether an in-person inspection should even be conducted;
  • encourages inspectors to rely heavily on electronic communications like phone interviews and videoconferences;
  • requires consideration of the shortage of protective equipment like masks and respirators in assessing respiratory protection compliance;
  • repeats criteria OSHA laid out in an earlier guidance for when a COVID-19 case is a recordable workplace injury–(i) a confirmed COVID-19 infection as defined by CDC; (ii) work-related as defined in OSHA regulations; and (iii) meets at least one recording criteria under existing OSHA regulations

For more information on OSHA’s enforcement plan or for more general workplace safety questions related to COVID-19, contact Phillip Hoover or Steve O’Day.

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