Introduction

On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) that signaled a new enforcement agenda, targeting establishments in industries that have an increased potential for employee exposure to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease, including healthcare institutions. NEPs are temporary programs that focus OSHA’s resources on particular hazards.

Employers should particularly take heed of the increased funding to OSHA for enforcement actions, which could indicate a potential increase in the number of audits and inspections, as well as additional scrutiny of whistleblower claims. The ARP also extends voluntary COVID-related paid leave benefits, so eligible employers need to consider whether they will continue to offer these benefits on a voluntary basis.

Finally, employers should note that the ARP extends unemployment benefits, provides for COBRA subsidies, and delivers a new round of direct payments to Americans. Absent from the final law is a hike in the minimum wage, a paid leave mandate, and the elimination of the tip credit, which was part of the original bill.

Area Covered In The Webinar

  • What was the previous goal of OSHA regarding COVID-19 enforcement in the workplace?
  • How does the new OSHA focus impact Employers when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine programs?
  • What is the NEP and how does that impact how Employers mitigate COVID-19 safety in the workplace
  • What industries are impacted by the New Enforcement Guidance
  • How does the Whistleblower Protection impact by the new guidance
  • Learn how Employers should ensure safety in the workplace based on the new guidance
  • What are the enforcement penalties that need to be addressed
  • What other workplace inspections need to be addressed
  • Is there a different recording process in the new guidance
  • How does the new guidance compare to the OSHA Workplace Guidance for COVID-19

Why should you attend?

The National Emphasis Program (NEP) provides a formalized structure for OSHA to implement inspections, including unprogrammed, programmed, and follow-up inspections, in workplaces where employees have a high frequency of potential COVID-19 exposures.  Since the start of the pandemic, OSHA has handled most enforcement work remotely, without in-person inspections.  Under the NEP, more inspections will involve on-site visits.

All employers, particularly those in what OSHA considers to be high-risk industries, should be prepared for the heightened OSHA enforcement activity related to COVID-19 exposures to avoid fines, penalties, and criminal sanctions.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted an Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease (ERP). Now, as states begin reopening their economies, the revised ERP will “ensure employers are taking action to protect their employees.”

Who Will Benefit

  • All Employers
  • Business Owners
  • Compliance professionals
  • Payroll Administrators
  • HR Professionals
  • Managers/Supervisors
  • Employers in all industries
  • Small Business Owners
  • Large Business Owners
  • Company Leadership

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Margie Faulk, PHR, SHRM-CP HR Compliance Solutions, LLC-Compliance Officer, is a senior level human resources professional with over 14 years of HR management and compliance experience. A current Com Know More

Margie Faulk