Biden Order Seeks Stronger Workplace Safety Rules, Tougher OSHA Enforcement

Thursday evening, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing federal regulators to implement stronger safety guidance for workplaces during the pandemic.

Among other actions, the order directs OSHA to update COVID-19 safety recommendations for businesses within the next two weeks, review its enforcement efforts, and study whether an emergency temporary standard (ETS) — which businesses would have to comply with under the threat of penalties — is necessary. The agency must issue the emergency standard by March 15, if deemed necessary.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) this week said it expects OSHA will soon issue an ETS, with penalties for non-compliance being “significant and publicized.” 1/21/2021