COVID-19 - Workplace Update

August 31, 2021

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Updates Guidance to Mirror Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommendations


In addition to the U.S. county list and transmission-level ratings , OSHA has updated non-healthcare industry recommendations and connected guidance for workplaces. The common thread in the guidance from OSHA is a shift from employers making “recommendations” to employees, towards adopting employee requirement policies surrounding vaccinations and mask use.


The key takeaways from the revised OSHA guidance include:

  • A recommendation that employers consider adopting policies that would require employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations
  • For unvaccinated employees, a recommendation for regular COVID-19 testing

Specific to many IAM member company operations, OSHA’s guidance advises employers at all higher-risk workplaces, (which includes warehousing and similar locations) to require all unvaccinated and at-risk workers to wear a mask. The guidance also encourages vaccinated workers in substantial or high community transmission areas to wear masks. While OSHA’s guidance outside of the healthcare industry is not required, it is strongly encouraged due to the transmissibility of the delta variant.