Minnesota OSHA rulemaking
MNOSHA adopts federal OSHA permanent recordkeeping standard for COVID-19
On June 21, 2021, federal OSHA issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) in the Federal Register to protect workers providing health care support services. On Dec. 27, 2021, federal OSHA announced it was withdrawing the non-recordkeeping portions of the health care ETS, while keeping the COVID-19 log and reporting provisions of CFR 1910.502(q)(2)(ii), (q)(3)(ii)-(iv) and (r) in effect, because they were adopted under a separate provision of the OSH Act, section 8. This final rule maintains the recordkeeping requirements concerning COVID-19. Minnesota Statutes § 182.655, subdivision 13, requires that Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) adopt standards that are "at least as effective as" federal OSHA.
MNOSHA has adopted certain provisions of the health care ETS published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2021. MNOSHA has adopted the Federal Register notice for "Occupational Exposure to COVID-19; Emergency Temporary Standard," with the exception of 29 CFR 1910.502 (c) to (p) and (s), 29 CFR 1910.504, 29 CFR 1910.505 and 29 CFR 1910.509.
This rule adoption incorporates by reference paragraphs of the health care ETS that include the recordkeeping requirements for a COVID-19 log. This requires covered employers with more than 10 employees to record COVID-19 cases of their employees on their COVID-19 log if a worker is infected by COVID-19, regardless of whether the instance is connected to exposure at work.
This rule adoption also requires covered employers to report to MNOSHA each work-related COVID-19 fatality within eight hours of the employer learning about the fatality, and each work-related in-patient hospitalization within 24 hours of the employer learning about the hospitalization, regardless of when the fatality or hospitalization occurred. As stated in 29 CFR 1910.502(r)(2), the employer must follow the requirements in 29 CFR 1904.39, except for 29 CFR 1904.39(a)(1) and (2) and (b)(6).
On Aug. 22, 2022, MNOSHA proposed adopting these COVID-19 recordkeeping and reporting provisions by reference in the State Register (Volume 47, Number 8, pages 121-122). On Nov. 21, 2022 these rules were adopted in the State Register as proposed.
Minnesota OSHA withdraws COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard
On Jan. 3, 2022, Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) adopted the federal OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) published Nov. 5, 2021, to protect the health of workers by mitigating the spread of the unprecedented virus in the workplace. The ETS protected employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 by strongly encouraging vaccination. The ETS required covered employers to administer a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to either get vaccinated or elect to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work in lieu of vaccination.
In an order issued Jan. 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court stayed enforcement of federal OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS pending the disposition of the petitions for review in the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
On Feb. 14, 2022, MNOSHA adopted by reference federal OSHA's withdrawal of the standard that was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 26, 2022. This adoption effectively removes this standard in Minnesota.
Employees with concerns about their safety and health at work are encouraged to contact MNOSHA.
MNOSHA’s emergency temporary standard regarding occupational exposure to COVID-19 expired in January 2022
On June 21, 2021, federal OSHA published an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) (www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets) in the Federal Register. Federal OSHA has issued an ETS to protect health care workers and health care support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19 in settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present.
On July 19, 2021, Minnesota OSHA adopted the ETS by reference. The ETS was effective in Minnesota as of the date of publication in the State Register, July 19, 2021.
The ETS expired in Minnesota on Jan. 19, 2022.
On Dec. 27, 2021, the CDC updated its requirements to shorten the recommendations for isolation and quarantine for the general population. Interim guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 was updated on Dec. 23, 2021, and applies to healthcare personnel. Until the ETS expires in Minnesota, employers following the current CDC guidance for isolation and quarantine will be considered in compliance with the ETS.
As Federal OSHA works towards a permanent regulatory solution, Minnesota OSHA will enforce and require employers to comply with obligations under the general duty clause and other current standards, such as the personal protective equipment and respiratory protection standards, to help protect healthcare employees from the hazard of COVID-19.
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