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Making ‘good faith’ effort to comply with OSHA may be enough


Making a “good faith” effort to comply with U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's annual requirements may be enough since the agency announced Thursday night that it would temporarily relax enforcement of many regulatory obligations if compliance is not feasible during the pandemic.

The agency stated that it would provide area offices the discretion to assess an employer’s good-faith efforts to comply with standards that require annual or recurring audits, reviews, training or assessments, and take such efforts “into strong consideration” before issuing a citation during the current pandemic. The agency said employers may need to demonstrate that they explored all other options to comply with standards and considered the use of interim alternative protections to keep employees safe.

Examples of regulatory standards that may not be able to be met during the pandemic include annual audiograms, annual process safety management requirements, hazardous waste operations training, respirator fit testing and training, crane testing and operator certification and medical evaluations.

The guidance does state that employers who fail to demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with OSHA regulations may be assessed a citation under existing enforcement policies.

The memo went into effect immediately and will remain in effect until further notice, but is intended to be limited to the current pandemic crisis, the agency said.

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here.







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