The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry recently enacted emergency workplace safety rules, §16VAC25-220 Emergency Temporary Standard Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19, in an effort to mitigate COVID-19 risk to workers. This makes Virginia among the first states to enact such safety requirements.
Some of the requirements included in the rules follow upon previous Executive Orders issued by Governor Northam, including the requirement to enforce mask wearing when it is not possible for employees to maintain adequate physical distance.
The rules enact certain requirements for all employers, including enacting measures to mitigate the possibility of workplace transmission of COVID-19. Employers are also required to enact a procedure for employees to report symptoms and possible infection. The rules also enact restrictions on when employees infected, or possibly infected by COVID-19, may return to the workplace. It is very important for employers to follow the timelines included in the rules in order to avoid enforcement action.
There are additional protocols required for industries involving increased risk; therefore, an initial analysis by any employer should involve a determination of risk based on the employer’s industry.
If you have any questions related to this new standard, implementation of workplace safety measures, or any other employment related issues, the Employment Law team at Protorae Law is here to assist.