President Biden Issues Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety

On January 21, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety. The Order directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to take the following steps to strengthen worker protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Issue revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic within two (2) weeks of the date of the Order – February 4, 2021.

  • Consider whether COVID-19 emergency temporary standards, including masks in the workplace, are necessary, and if they are necessary, issue them by March 15, 2021.

  • Review OSHA COVID-19 enforcement efforts and identify any changes that can be made to protect workers better and ensure equity in enforcement.

  • Launch a national program to focus OSHA COVID-19 enforcement efforts on violations that put the largest number of workers at serious risk or are contrary to anti-retaliation principles.

  • Coordinate with the Department of Labor’s Office of Public Affairs and Office of Public Engagement and all regional OSHA offices to conduct a multilingual outreach campaign to inform workers of their rights under applicable law. The campaign must include engagement with labor unions, community organizations, and industries and place a special emphasis on communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

We will continue to monitor and provide necessary updates.

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