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Over 100 lawmakers urge OSHA to issue permanent standard on COVID-19 for health care workers

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Washington — Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) has joined 114 other members of Congress in calling on OSHA to issue a permanent standard on COVID-19 focused on health care workers.

In a letter dated Jan. 11 and addressed to President Joe Biden, the lawmakers cite the recent surge in COVID-19 cases involving the omicron variant for the need to enhance protections for these workers, who are “exhausted and scared” and “beyond their breaking points.”

The letter continues: “We are in desperate need of a continued strong, enforceable standard to provide full protections for these workers for the duration of the pandemic. Any delay in issuing a final standard directly puts these workers across the country at risk of illness and death as a result of COVID-19.”

 

In a Dec. 27 statement, OSHA announced it was withdrawing the non-recordkeeping portions of its emergency temporary standard focused on health care workers, but it would “work expeditiously” to issue a final rule. OSHA originally adopted the ETS on June 21.

In a press release from Dingell’s office, Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, president of National Nurses United, which represents more than 175,000 registered nurses, reiterates the lawmakers’ call for OSHA to issue a permanent standard.

“We are in desperate need of continued federal standards to ensure that we get the protections we need to do our jobs safely in this pandemic,” Triunfo-Cortez said.

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