OSHA has launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) related to COVID-19. NEPs are temporary programs that focus OSHA’s resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. According to OSHA, the COVID-19 NEP is meant to focus OSHA’s enforcement efforts on:
- Companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus; and
- Companies that in part have higher numbers of deaths and/or hospitalizations due to occupational exposures to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 NEP inspections will enhance previous coronavirus enforcement efforts but will also include follow-up inspections of previously inspected worksites to ensure abatement actions have been implemented as required.
The COVID-19 NEP is set to remain in effect until March 12, 2022, though OSHA can amend or cancel the NEP during this effective period.
In conjunction with the issuance of the NEP, OSHA updated its Interim Enforcement Response Plan to prioritize on-site inspection over remote inspection and will focus on employers deemed to be not making good faith efforts to protect workers. This amended action will go into effect on March 18, 2021.
Please contact VBA Compliance Assurance if you need assistance with establishing programs for worker protection.