I am a business owner in Virginia, and I oppose making the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Emergency Standard permanent.
Six months into the pandemic, I have learned to adapt to this unprecedented time by implementing industry-specific guidance from the Governor, the Virginia Health Department, the CDC, and OSHA to ensure physical distancing and extensive sanitization. I want to keep my employees safe because I care about their welfare.
Now is not the time to make the emergency temporary standard permanent when it’s likely this pandemic will be temporary. Imposing “one size fits all” COVID-19 regulations on all employers and employees is unreasonable especially when guidance is continually changing as we learn more about the virus and how best to protect against it’s spread. Knowing the temporary standard expires in February 2021, there is plenty of time for the Board to wait until we know more about how long the pandemic could last before taking any further action.
My company takes its responsibility for protecting our employees seriously. Making the COVID-19 emergency regulations permanent will only make a difficult situation worse for employers and employees. I remain concerned about the impact many of the provisions of the emergency regulations are having on my business and encourage the Board to not make them permanent.
Daniel M. Walker, President