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OSHA Rulemaking Updates for Senior Living and Skilled Nursing Providers

In response to request for public comment, our colleagues at LeadingAge National recently urged the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) not to make the agency's Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19 permanent, as it is unnecessary and burdensome. OSHA had published a notice that the agency is considering changes to the Healthcare ETS, which was issued in June 2021. That ETS imposed various infection control and related requirements on health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and certain assisted living facilities.

As LeadingAge NY had previously reported, the ETS expired, but OSHA had indicated that it was working on a permanent standard and encouraged the provider community to continue to comply with the requirements, many of which are otherwise required by the various agencies having oversight of these settings. OSHA is now considering all public comments. We will inform members of developments in this process.

Meanwhile, OSHA is currently accepting comment on OSHA rules that could expand reporting requirements for senior living and skilled nursing facility (SNF) providers. Proposed amendments to federal occupational injury and illness recordkeeping regulations could require senior living providers, SNF operators, and other employers in “high-hazard industries” to submit additional documentation of each injury or illness reported. Additionally, the data would be available to the public via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Comments are being accepted until May 31st.

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Contact: Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8828