Virginia NFIB Opposes Making COVID-19 Workplace Safety Regulations Permanent

Date: September 26, 2020

NFIB Virginia recently filed comments requesting the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board reject making emergency temporary workplace standards approved in July to address the spread of COVID-19, permanent. In our comments we reminded the Board that NFIB members are committed to protecting employees, contractors, suppliers, and the community from infection, but opposes extending the workplace safety regulations beyond the current six-month expiration date. The standards are overly burdensome for businesses and many of the provisions are impractical and unnecessary.

NFIB Virginia said examples of inconsistencies and impractical portions of the emergency workplace standards include a requirement for physical separation of employees at low and medium risk businesses by a permanent, solid floor to ceiling wall.  Yet, higher-risk businesses have more flexibility to use smaller temporary barriers like Plexiglas sneeze guards.  Another requirement requiring that cleaning and disinfecting take place at the end of every shift doesn’t work for many manufacturers working round the clock and with overlapping shifts.

More detail about concerns with the emergency temporary workplace regulations and why it should not be made permanent can be found in these comments submitted to the Safety and Health Codes Board by the NFIB Virginia.

As of September 25th, all employers in Virginia are to be compliant with the Emergency Temporary Standard including the creation of an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan (medium risk businesses with fewer than 11 are exempt) and the training of employees requirement which varies on risk exposure.

You can learn about how to implement the emergency regulations on our landing page where you’ll find the recording of our webinar and other resources.

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