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ISSA Meets With Biden Administration on OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard

June 3, 2021 ISSA Meets With Biden Administration on OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard

ISSA and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, participated in one of approximately 50 stakeholder meetings the White House’s Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has hosted on a possible COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Small Business Administration (SBA) were also present.

Currently, OIRA is reviewing the ETS submitted to them by OSHA and most expect a decision to be coming soon. Very little is known about OSHA’s COVID-19 standard because it has not been released to the public, but most believe if an ETS is announced that it will look similar to the existing state standards that ISSA has been tracking.

ISSA used the opportunity to raise awareness for the full-spectrum of the cleaning industry and the integral role it plays in maintaining healthy workplaces even beyond COVID-19. Specifically, the association asked that any ETS or future standards include the following:

  1. Risk assessment: Require employers to conduct a risk assessment as each facility (and types of facility) has different risks and needs when it comes to infection prevention.
  2. Require regular cleaning and disinfecting based on its risk assessment.
  3. Education and training: Encourage proper training of all staff responsible for cleaning on the determined steps needed, the frequency, the tools and products used, and PPE.
  4. Quality control: Encourage third-party accreditation of buildings to ensure proper protocols and trainings are being followed.

Representing ISSA in the meeting were:

  • John Nothdurft, ISSA Director of Government Affairs
  • David G. Beaudreau Jr. – DC Legislative & Regulatory Services (DCLRS) Vice President
  • Dr. Paul Meechan – GBAC Board Member.

While an ETS is not subject to the normal public notice and comment period typical to other federal rulemakings there will be opportunity to comment after it has been announced.

ISSA is closely monitoring the development of new workplace health and safety standards at the federal and state level and will keep our members apprised as these standards evolve. To learn more about COVID-19-specific emergency workplace standards, visit ISSA’s website. For general questions regarding our advocacy, please contact ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft.