USW: OSHA’s new emergency temporary standard a huge step for worker safety

Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-212-8173

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued its Covid-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) for health care workers:

“The USW is glad that, after more than a year of advocacy and organizing, health care workers will finally have enforceable workplace protections against the spread of Covid-19 thanks to OSHA’s new emergency temporary standard announced today.

“Health care workers, including 50,000 USW members, made deep, personal sacrifices every day of the pandemic caring for the sick and vulnerable. They deserve to know they will be as safe as possible while doing this vital work.

“Yet far too many health care workers have been sickened or died because their employers did not follow coronavirus protocols. This new temporary standard for Covid-19 is a huge step forward.

 “There is still much work ahead in the fight to keep workers safe on the job, including extending these protections to all workers and making them permanent. The updated guidance for other industries OSHA also issued today provides a base on which to build, but we must keep up the momentum.

“Our nation’s essential workers kept America running through one of our darkest times. We applaud President Biden’s leadership on this issue and commend OSHA for finally taking real action to keep them safe.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

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United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222