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OSHA sends draft emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 to OMB review

OSHA sends draft emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 to OMB review
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on Monday it has sent a draft emergency temporary standard (ETS) on the coronavirus pandemic to the Office of Management and Budget, defending the extra time the agency took to move on establishing a standard.

OSHA, a division of the Department of Labor (DOL), took “the appropriate time” to get the standards right, according to the DOL. President BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE issued an executive order in January on protecting worker health and safety, which called on OSHA to issue an ETS by March 15.

“OSHA has been working diligently on its proposal and has taken the appropriate time to work with its science-agency partners, economic agencies, and others in the U.S. government to get this proposed emergency standard right,” a DOL spokesperson said in an email on Monday.

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“What a difference a President Joe Biden and Secretary of Labor Marty WalshMarty WalshBoston mayor fires city's police commissioner months after domestic abuse allegations emerge Senate Latino Democrats warn about low Hispanic vaccination rates Labor secretary faces questions from Democrats in police chief controversy MORE make. I’ve been calling for an emergency temporary standard to protect against COVID-19 for over a year now. I’m glad to see DOL acting to move us closer to issuing the ETS, and POTUS needs to approve it swiftly and get this standard into effect,” Levin told The Hill on Monday following the announcement.

Democrats, unions and worker advocates have called for official OSHA COVID-19 standards since the onset of the pandemic. Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE’s OSHA refused to impose a nationwide safety standard, arguing that OSHA guidance was sufficient.

OSHA can authorize an emergency standard if it determines workers are in grave danger. That standard can only be challenged in a U.S. court of appeals as opposed to OSHA guidance, which allows for flexibility and lets the administration officials change it as they see fit.