On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to the executive order to enhance workplace safety during the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). The OSHA has launched a COVID-19 National Emphasis Program (NEP) to minimize exposure in high-risk occupations. The NEP focuses on increased inspections and sanitation as well as retaliation protect for workers.
Some people have criticized OSHA after COVID-19 spread rampantly in some workplaces, such as in the meatpacking industry in the fall of 2020. Critics have claimed that the OSHA was slow to fine employers who did not provide protective equipment or mandate spacing requirements. As a result, many workers who work in close proximity to each other in the industry contracted COVID-19, and some even died as a result.
OSHA’s Response to the Executive Order
The executive order to the OSHA stated that health and safety of workers needs to be a national priority, and the federal government must take action. The executive order required the OSHA to launch the NEP program to provide guidance and remedies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. Although the OSHA did release some safety tips in April 2020 and a social distancing alert in May 2020, the NEP is more in-depth, with greater ability for enforcement.
In addition to providing guidance to the OSHA, the executive order stated that other agencies must also issue guidance to assist employees who are not under the OSHA’s jurisdiction. Those agencies are also directed to issue guidance for employers in those industries to provide more protection and enforcement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the OSHA and other agencies are implementing guidelines to protect employees against COVID-19, work injuries, illnesses, and accidents are still occurring. If an employee contracts an occupational illness or is injured at work, they should speak to a lawyer about filing a workers’ compensation claim for help with benefits.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Employees Suffering from Work-Related Illnesses and Injuries
COVID-19 has changed many workplaces, and employers are required to make modifications to ensure safety. The NEP program will help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but workers are still at risk. A Downingtown workers’ compensation lawyer at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can help you if you have a work injury or illness. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.