Senate Confirms President Biden’s Nominee to Head OSHA

On Oct. 25, 2021, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA), Doug Parker, who’s tasked with main OSHA within the subsequent section of COVID-19-related office security requirements. The U.S. Senate has not confirmed a brand new OSHA chief since former President Obama nominee Dr. David Michaels left the company in 2017, and OSHA has been with no confirmed chief since then.

Parker’s affirmation as OSHA chief comes as an industry-wide emergency non permanent commonplace (ETS) is being finalized. The ETS would require firms with 100 or extra staff to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly check the workforce for COVID-19 infections. See September 2021 GT Alert on the forthcoming ETS right here.

Throughout his tenure as head of the California Division of Occupational Security and Well being (Cal/OSHA), Parker instituted an ETS associated to COVID-19 that covers matters reminiscent of face coverings, bodily distancing, testing, vaccines, and enforcement. Listen to January 2021 GT Workplace Safety Review podcast episode with Doug Parker. Additional, in September 2021 California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into regulation Senate Invoice 606, which created two new, heightened classifications for egregious and enterprise-wide violations. This latest rulemaking in California means that Parker could take a equally aggressive method as Fed-OSHA chief.

The proposed ETS mandating vaccinations or frequent testing was submitted to the White Home for closing evaluation on Oct. 12, 2021. Though regulatory critiques can take months, the evaluation could also be expedited to meet President Biden’s objective of maximizing vaccinations. Parker could prioritize implementing the ETS and offering employers with steerage on its necessities.

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