WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin applauds President Joe Biden and his administration for taking immediate action to protect U.S. workers from COVID-19. The Biden administration today announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will immediately release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure, and will enforce worker health and safety requirements, targeting the worst violators. The President also directed OSHA to evaluate whether it should establish an Emergency Temporary Standard.
“It’s clear with President Biden’s executive action today that protecting America’s workers is a top priority, and I urge the administration to move forward with an Emergency Temporary Standard. Millions of health care workers, food-service workers, grocery store workers and others have been on the frontlines of this pandemic since it began, and it’s about time that Washington steps up to put their health and safety first,” said Senator Baldwin. “When we protect our workers, we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and start building back better than before.”
Senator Baldwin repeatedly called on President Trump’s OSHA and former Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia to put in place enforceable health and safety standards to protect workers during this pandemic, but they refused to take action, even amid disturbing, widespread reports of unsafe workplaces leading to preventable illnesses and deaths.
Last year, Baldwin introduced the COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act to require OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that establishes a legal obligation for all workplaces to implement comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plans to keep workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baldwin’s legislation was included in the HEROES Act that passed the House of Representatives in May, and in the COVID-19 response legislation that passed the House in October. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (PDF) also calls for enactment of Senator Baldwin’s legislation.