USW submits comments on behalf of health care workers in public hearing

On April 27, the USW submitted comments on behalf of union members on the first of a four-day public hearing on creating a permanent workplace standard to protect health care workers from COVID-19. 

On June 21, 2021, after months of relentless activism by labor activists, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an interim final rule establishing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect health care and health care support workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19. 

OSHA quit enforcing its temporary version of the rule on Dec. 27 but maintains the standard hasn’t lapsed.

On March 22, 2022, the agency announced a limited re-opening of the record and their intention to hold a public hearing to gather additional information from health care workers and other stakeholders. 

Some of the comments submitted on behalf of USW members included the need for any references to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be removed from the standard due to political and corporate influence. 

The USW also said that although this proposed standard is a good step forward, there is still much that could be improved. The union said specifically that the standard must include a new section for employee participation, enabling workers and their representatives to effectively participate.

Click here to read the full USW commentary.

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