On June 21, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an interim final rule establishing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare and health care support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19 in settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present (86 FR 32376). The ETS took effect immediately but also served as a proposed rule on which OSHA requested comment.
OSHA received comments concerning the ETS during the comment period, which was to end on July 21, 2021, but was extended to August 20, 2021, in response to requests from the public (86 FR 38232). In accordance with 29 USC 655(c)(3), the agency is now preparing to promulgate a final standard.
On March 22, 2022, OSHA announced a limited re-opening of the record and the agency’s intention to hold an informal public hearing to gather certain additional information from healthcare industry stakeholders – Federal Register Notice
The public comment period opened Wednesday, March 23, 2022. The deadline for submitting comments is April 22, 2022. Comments and associated documents for this rulemaking (Docket Number OSHA-2020-0004) should be submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
The hearing will begin on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, and will continue on April 28, April 29, and May 2, 2022. The hearing schedule provides additional details on the days and times that stakeholders who submitted a timely notice of intention to appear (NOITA) will testify.
The hearing will be held virtually. Stakeholders who submitted a timely NOITA will receive additional participation information, including log-in details for the virtual hearing, by email.
Members of the general public will be able to access a live stream of the hearing using the following links:
- April 27th – https://youtu.be/KINCXznAvok
- April 28th – https://youtu.be/zE09g7_eNy8
- April 29th – https://youtu.be/W_ckBau-Q8o
- May 2nd – https://youtu.be/zzAN8GRyL8o
The Youtube page has a start time for 8:30 AM ET for all public sessions.
Before the hearing, OSHA will make the hearing procedures available on this webpage and in the docket.