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AGC Meets with White House on OSHA COVID-19 Standard

May 6, 2021

On April 30, AGC and its coalition partners met with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to raise concerns about and question the need for a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) 14 months into the pandemic. AGC highlighted the conflicting messages delivered by the administration. On the one hand, the administration continues to highlight the significant decline in case rates, hospitalizations, and great progress towards ending the pandemic through vaccination efforts. On the other hand, OSHA remains determined to issue an ETS to address what it calls grave dangers posed to workers, despite construction remaining an OSHA-identified low exposure industry. AGC and its partners also stressed the importance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OSHA aligning their respective protocols if an ETS is to be issued. Confusion remains among employers and employees alike due to conflicts between the April 27 CDC guidance and OSHA’s January 29 guidance. The CDC guidance allows for different protocols for the vaccinated versus unvaccinated. The OSHA guidance provides that the vaccinated and unvaccinated should be treated the same and follow established mask and social distancing requirements.

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