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GAO highlights shortcomings in OSHA COVID-19 oversight

Posted On: Jan. 29, 2021 10:48 AM CST


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has improved its oversight of worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting remote inspections of workplaces, but “gaps” remain, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said Thursday in a sweeping report on the challenges the U.S. faces regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

The report, in identifying concerns about federal oversight of worker safety and health, found that OSHA’s “oversight and tracking of its adapted enforcement methods contain gaps.”

“For example, the agency lacks plans to implement its oversight and is not tracking certain data related to its adapted enforcement methods,” the report states. “These gaps prevent OSHA from assessing the effectiveness of its enforcement methods during the pandemic, ensuring that these methods do not miss violations, and ensuring that employers are addressing certain identified violations.”

To improve its oversight, the GAO recommends that OSHA develop a plan, with specified time-frames, to implement the agency’s oversight processes for COVID-19-adapted enforcement methods, and ensure that its data system includes comprehensive information on the use of these enforcement methods.  

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here