Emergency Temporary Standard/Emergency Regulation: COVID-19
It is unreasonable to apply “one size fits all” COVID-19 Regulations to all employers and employees. It is also profoundly inappropriate to bypass the formal regulation process altogether by attempting to codify “guidance” and Executive Orders as a reasonable replacement. Further, it is confusing why the Regulations are being pursued when § 16VAC25-220 has not been fully implemented and has so many significant problems.
Therefore, it is the VMA’s recommendation that the Board withdraw its “Intent to Adopt a Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19, 16VAC25-220.” The VMA also requests that the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board issue an additional sixty (60) day public comment period on 16VAC25-220 requesting that employers provide recommended improvements to the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) or abandon the ETS altogether and rely upon the “General Duty Clause” and Federal, State, Industry guidance to protect workers as is being effectively done in 48 other states. Finally, if the Board proceeds with Regulations, it should not consider any amendments to the Regulations that would incorporate other infectious diseases.
The VMA's detailed comments exceed the characters allowed by this system and it has submitted an electronic copy of the comments to Princy Doss and Jay Withrow, Virginia Department of Labor & Industry.