In response to recent legislative efforts to force the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to address the coronavirus, AGC joined stakeholders in opposing the power grab. AGC prioritizes worker safety and AGC and its members have been proactive since the early days of the pandemic through safety stand-downs on the coronavirus and resources communicating proper safety, distancing, and disinfecting measures to workers on the job site to reduce the risk of exposure. Despite opposition to the ETS, AGC has been supportive of using industry specific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The temporary standard as envisioned in HR 6559 and other legislation could force employers to record and document illnesses like the common cold or seasonal flu. Such a standard would expose employers to additional liabilities and litigation amid the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression. In addition, it could negatively impact employer experience modification rates, which would result in untenable workers compensation insurance premiums. All of this further jeopardizes the ability of employers to weather this unprecedented economic decline and maintain current levels of employment.
Additional coronavirus-related resources include a recently launched OSHA webpage with coronavirus-related guidance for construction employers and workers that includes recommended actions to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. And, for AGC of American coronavirus safety and health resources click here.