OSHA Prioritizing Permanent Workplace Standards for Healthcare Industry

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Feb 17, 2022
In an interview with Bloomberg Law, Doug Parker, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA), described the enactment of a permanent COVID-19 workplace standard for the healthcare industry as OSHA’s most urgent rulemaking. 

OSHA withdrew portions of its original healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) because the agency couldn’t meet a legal December 21, 2021 deadline to enact a permanent standard. Parker stated that the original healthcare ETS remains the basis for which the new permanent standard is being developed and that OSHA hasn’t decided whether there will be a hearing or public comment period before a final version of the standard is enacted.

In addition to the permanent COVID-19 related standard, Parker also reiterated OSHA’s commitment to developing a more encompassing infectious disease standard for healthcare that would be completed after the COVID-19 measure is enacted. “This is a long-standing effort that began in the Obama administration,” Parker said. “The pandemic demonstrates the importance of having a general standard in place for high-hazard industries like health care.”

Impact on General Dentistry: AGD continues to monitor developments related to OSHA’s workplace standards and their impact on dental practices and the delivery of dental care. AGD will respond to OSHA rulemakings accordingly.