OSHA releases new guidelines for handling coronavirus-related complaints

OSHA releases new guidelines for handling coronavirus-related complaints
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an interim enforcement response plan Friday for the coronavirus pandemic.

The response plan provides instructions and guidance to OSHA Area Offices and compliance safety and health officers for handling coronavirus-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports.

"OSHA is committed to protecting the health and safety of America's workers during this challenging time in our nation's history," Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt said. "Today's guidance outlines commonsense procedures for investigating complaints related to the coronavirus while also ensuring the safety of workers, employers, and inspectors."

The response plan outlines procedures for addressing reports of workplace hazards related to the coronavirus.

Fatalities and imminent danger exposures related to the coronavirus will be prioritized for on-site inspections. Workers requesting inspections, complaining of coronavirus exposure, or reporting illnesses may be protected under one or more whistleblower statutes and will be informed of their protections from retaliation.

This memorandum will take effect immediately and remain in effect until further notice. It is intended to be time-limited to the current public health crisis. Check OSHA’s webpage at www.osha.gov/coronavirus frequently for updates.

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