OSHA COVID-19 Resources

Select OSHA Guidance Memos on COVID-19


April 16, 2020:  Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer's Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

In light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, OSHA understands that some employers may face difficulties complying with OSHA standards due to the ongoing health emergency. Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) should evaluate whether the employer made good faith efforts to comply with applicable OSHA standards and, in situations where compliance was not possible, to ensure that employees were not exposed to hazards from tasks, processes, or equipment for which they were not prepared or trained.

April 10, 2020: Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers other than those in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations...may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. In light of those difficulties, OSHA is exercising its enforcement discretion in order to provide certainty to the regulated community.

April 3, 2020: Enforcement Guidance for Use of Respiratory Protection Equipment Certified under Standards of Other Countries or Jurisdictions During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.

This memorandum provides interim guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) for enforcing the Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR § 1910.134, and certain other health standards, with regard to supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs). Specifically, it outlines enforcement discretion to permit the use of FFRs and air-purifying elastomeric respirators.

April 3, 2020:  Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

This memorandum provides interim guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) for enforcing the Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR § 1910.134, and certain other health standards, with regard to supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Specifically, it outlines enforcement discretion to permit the extended use and reuse of respirators, as well as the use of respirators that are beyond their manufacturer’s recommended shelf life (sometimes referred to as “expired”).

March 14, 2020: Temporary Enforcement Guidance - Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak

This memorandum provides temporary enforcement guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers for enforcing the Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR § 1910.134, with regard to supply shortages of N95 filtering facepiece respirators due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

 
Chinese KN95 masks
All industries besides healthcare have been requested to find alternatives to the N95 masks. One alternative are the KN95 masks. These masks are equivalent to the N95s but are a Chinese product instead of the 3M product that is approved by the U.S. certifying authority.  The KN95s are also less expensive than the N95 masks.

 

Please note: This is not an exhaustive list of all OSHA guidance documents relating to the COVID-19 emergency. The ones listed on this webpage are provided as a service to NUCA members seeking quick links to updated guidance on OSHA regulations as they relate to the spring 2020 pandemic flu emergency.

OSHA's extensive COVID-19 topic page can be found here.

OSHA: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions About Face Coverings Suitable for the Workplace
 
Articles of Note:

NEW! Cohen Seglias: An Evolving “New Normal” - OSHA’s Recent COVID-19 Policy Changes

Steptoe & Johnson: OSHA Continues the Cascade of Sector and Industry Alerts and Guidance

Littler WPI: OSHA Sheds Light on COVID-19 Recording Requirements