According to a March 7 news release, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced “an enforcement memorandum for a short-term increase in highly focused inspections directed at hospitals and skilled nursing care facilities that treat or handle COVID-19 patients.”
The release explains that for two years healthcare workers have been battling COVID-19 and many have been in danger as they care for those who are COVID-19 positive.
The release states that “OSHA’s goal is to expand its presence to ensure continued mitigation to control the spread of COVID-19 and future variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and protect the health and safety of healthcare workers at heightened risk for contracting the virus.”
That said, “The agency will be initiating focused inspections to emphasize monitoring for current and future readiness to protect workers from COVID-19. Follow-up inspections will be conducted at sites that were previously issued citations, as well as where complaints were received but the agency did not conduct in-person inspections.”
“OSHA intends to expand its presence in targeted high-hazard healthcare facilities during a three-month period from March 9, 2022 to June 9, 2022,” the release continues. “Through this focused enforcement initiative, the agency will verify and assess hospital and skilled nursing care employers’ compliance actions taken, including their readiness to address any ongoing or future COVID-19 surges.”
Assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health Doug Parker was quoted in the release saying that “We are using available tools while we finalize a healthcare standard. We want to be ahead of any future events in healthcare.”