US | COVID-19 | OSHA Modifies Interim COVID-19 Enforcement Plan

On May 19, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an updated interim enforcement response plan. This updated plan will go into effect on May 26, 2020. It replaces the previous interim enforcement plan dated April 13, 2020, and will remain in effect during the public health crisis.

In geographic areas where community spread of COVID-19 has significantly decreased, OSHA will return to its inspection planning policy in effect prior to the start of the public health crisis. However, OSHA will continue to prioritize COVID-19 cases. It will use informal phone/fax investigations or rapid response investigations to ensure effective and efficient use of resources to address COVID-19 related events.

Inspection Priorities

Where there is either a sustained elevated community transmission or a resurgence in community transmission, OSHA will exercise its discretion and continue prioritizing COVID-19 fatalities and imminent danger exposures for inspection. This includes:

  • High-risk workplaces such as hospitals and other healthcare providers treating COVID-19 patients
  • Workplaces with high numbers of complaints or known COVID-19 cases

In these areas, inspections may be initiated remotely with an on-site component added on as resources allow. If neither an on-site nor remote inspection is possible, OSHA will use a rapid response investigation to identify any hazards, provide abatement assistance, and confirm abatement.

If there were no inspections due to resource limitations, OSHA will conduct random monitoring inspections of fatality or imminent danger cases. OSHA will use an informal phone/fax investigation if it can address the relevant hazards, instead of an on-site inspection.

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Sources:

OSHA Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), May 19, 2020)

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