The Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board recently adopted §16VAC25-220 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), Infectious Disease Prevention for SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19. The standard requires employers to implement safeguards in the workplace and became effective on July 27, 2020.
The standard requires all employers to implement many workplace controls to protect employees from workplace exposure, such as wearing face coverings, social distancing, hand hygiene procedures, frequent cleaning of high contact surfaces, and provides for even more in-depth requirements when there are higher levels of exposure risk to the employees, classified as “very high”, “high”, “medium” or “lower” by the standard.
The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health’s Cooperative Programs Division has developed several training and outreach materials for the public. These materials include:
- COVID‐19 Training PowerPoint for Employers and Employees with an included training certification form
- ETS Training PowerPoint that explains the elements of the standard with an included training certification form (including different versions for different industries)
- FAQs about the standard
- Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan Template (including different versions for different industries)
- Training PowerPoint on how to develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan Template with an included training certification form
- Flowchart for determining how to classify job tasks by hazards employees are potentially exposed to for “very high”, “high”, “medium”, and “lower” exposure risk levels
Employers will have approximately 60 days to develop and train employees on any Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan required under §16 VAC 25‐220‐70 (for “very high”, “high” and “medium” exposure risk level employees). Covered employers will be given 30 days to train employees on the standard itself under §16 VAC 25‐220‐80.A. (for all employees if there is anyone at the place of employment classified as “very high”, “high”, or “medium” exposure risk)
Penalties for failure to comply will be civil fines ranging from $13,494 to $134,937.
Any employer wanting assistance with reviewing the new Emergency Temporary Standard and/or drafting their Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan should contact Wendy Alexander at 703-680-4664 for assistance.