NFFS Signs onto NAM Letter Issuing Comments on OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

The Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society, under the leadership of the Government Affairs Committee, added the Society’s name and support to a letter written by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) regarding OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The letter was submitted to OSHA chief Douglas Parker on December 17, 2021,  Among the comments made in the letter:

  • Not all aspects of the ETS satisfy the ‘grave danger’ standard set forth in OSH act of 1970;
  • Any permanent standard must be time limited or tied to actual risk: Under section 6 of the OSH act, the COVID-19 ETS is effective for only six months from the date of publication. A ‘permanent’ standard would be required after that time-period and would not include any such time limitation. Any future ‘permanent’ standard intended to replace the ETS must be tied to actual risk at a local level and any ‘permanent’ standard should be deemed ineffective after the national emergency declaration has been lifted;
  • OSHA did not go through proper procedures to consider the burden imposed on small businesses. If OSHA decides to develop a permanent rule on vaccination and testing, it should do so in accordance with the procedures as required under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA);
  • Several provisions of the ETS are ambiguous and require clarification: Employers who attempt to comply with the ETS in good faith will continue to struggle with many issues until OSHA provides additional clarification on items such as what constitutes a ‘test record’ for at-home tests and what employer observations may be made via electronic means.