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National COSH on OSHA’s Health Care-Only Emergency Temporary Standard

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Press Contacts: 

Roger Kerson, 734.645.0535; roger@nationalcosh.org

National COSH on OSHA’s Health Care-Only Emergency Temporary Standard:

Organizing Wins COVID-19 Protections for Health Care Workers;
All Other Essential Workers Still at Risk -- Not All Are Vaccinated and the Pandemic is Not Over

LOS ANGELES:  “After more than a year of organizing, health care workers will finally have new protections against the spread of COVID-19. The release of this COVID Emergency Temporary Standard was delayed for far too long” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH). “Health care workers who have saved lives during this pandemic deserve full protection -- and so do all the other workers who provided us with food, shelter, sanitation and everything else we needed.”

Leaders of National COSH are reacting today to comments made today by Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh during an appearance before the U.S. House Labor and Education Committee.  Secretary Walsh told committee members that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  will issue a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) which applies to healthcare workers, but not to other workers in other industries.

“The Biden Administration has missed a crucial opportunity to protect all workers,” said Jessica E. Martinez, also a co-executive director of National COSH. “This is a new insult on top of the injuries, illnesses and deaths suffered by frontline workers and their families,“ said Martinez. “Vaccines have not reached all workers and COVID-19 is not over.”


“Workers have organized all during this pandemic to protect the health and wellbeing of their fellow workers and communities,” said Martinez. “Worker protests, strikes, job actions and other creative tactics have made a huge difference and delivered real protections in the workplace. President Biden needs to have workers’ backs - by ensuring that the nation’s federal safety agency has the resources and teeth needed to hold employers accountable.”

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National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit NationalCOSH.org. Follow us at NationalCOSH on Facebook, @NationalCOSH on Twitter and @NationalCOSH on Instagram