The New Emergency Temporary Standard Requires Job Risk Assessments, Employee Training and Customized Control and Prevention Measures
Virginia has adopted an occupational safety and health standard to protect employees within the state from COVID-19. This Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) applies to all employers and employees subject to the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program. VOSH is Virginia’s OSHA-approved state program.
The ETS requires affected employers to implement and enforce COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures. The new standard became effective on July 27, 2020 and is meant to supplement and enhance (rather than replace) current safety and health laws and guidelines.
Among other things, the ETS requires affected employers to:
- Classify job tasks according to their risk of exposure to COVID-19;
- Provide employee training;
- Implement and enforce sanitation and social distancing procedures; and
- Comply with applicable state executive and health emergency orders.
Compliance with the ETS will be monitored and enforced by VOSH, part of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI).
Virginia employers must comply with the ETS. Employers are encouraged to review VOSH resources in their compliance efforts. the DOLI has remined employers that the agency offers on-site consultation services to help private, state and local government employers better understand and comply with VOSH standards.