At first we were patiently waiting to see if OSHA would issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). When patience wore thin, states and localities started taking matters into their own hands, causing OSHA to regroup and hear testimony, including from Michael Best's Workplace Safety Lead Chuck Palmer explaining why it would cause more harm than good at this late stage to issue a national ETS. The following article walks us through the thoughts of some experts on the current practical limitations OHSA faces when considering next steps.
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To Be or Not To Be: What's the likely Verdict for OSHA's Emergency ETS. Our colleague Chuck Palmer weighs in!
The OSHA standard also would need to pass other requirements set by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, said Charles Palmer, a partner with Michael Best in Waukesha, Wis., and leader of the firm’s workplace safety practice. The law requires OSHA to give “due regards” to recommendations from the CDC’s parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, Palmer said. The standard also must be based on the “best available evidence.” Right now, the recommendations and evidence show fully vaccinated workers aren’t a risk, Palmer said. About 277 million Covid-19 doses had been administered in the U.S., according to Bloomberg data. Among all age groups, 37.8% had received their required shots and 47.9% had at least one shot.