STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS MANDATE
I am a small business owner in Virginia who opposes 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 safety protocols from a number of federal and state entities to ensure physical distancing and extensive sanitization. I want to keep my employees and customers safe because I care about their welfare. I spent hours reading, educating and documenting all these protocols that were mandated for this TEMPORARY need.
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 is unreasonable especially when guidance is continually changing as we learn more about the virus. The Board needs to take the time to see what challenges employers are facing implementing the emergency regulations before taking any further action.
My company takes its responsibility for protecting its 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. What happens when these protocols are no longer deemed appropriate. What happens when this virus adapts and changes making these madates obsolete to prevent spread? What happens when a new threat comes along that has different needs? There are so many questions that this mandate does not address. There are enough costs and risks on small business already. This could amount to the "Cure being worse than the virus". Lets not forget, while any death is a tragedy, trying to protect a very small segment by making the entirety live like this is not appropriate and can cause other issues resulting in other death as well.