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Ensuring Your Vaccine Protocol is OSHA-Compliant
Published: January 4, 2022

COVID-19 changed our office spaces as we know them, sending many employees to work from home. But now that vaccines are widely available and 62% of the country is fully vaccinated from COVID as of December 19, 2021, a return to the office is no longer imminent – it’s happening. Yet this isn’t a return to “business as usual.” 

Organizations now are tasked with adhering to shifting CDC guidelines, supporting employee adjustment back in the office, and keeping the workplace safe. 

More than that, businesses need to think about creating flexible, rotating schedules, reintegrating employees back into the workspace, and onboarding an influx of new hires. And, with Biden’s newest COVID-19 mandates, OSHA has announced a series of vaccine regulations that require organizations with 100 employees or more to ensure that all workers are either vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID.

The logistics of “back to business”? More complicated than ever. And with OSHA beginning to issue fines for non-compliant entities beginning January 10, 2022, staying up-to-speed on protocol is growing increasingly important. 

But with the right tool, even the most complex tasks are simple. OnTask can help your business stay on track by allowing your team to take a hands-off approach to automating vaccine monitoring. Our platform makes it easier than ever for you to track, digitize, and manage employee vaccine cards, weekly testing, and COVID-19 status – seamlessly and safely. 

 

3 Things You Need to Know About OSHA’s New Vaccination Requirements

The most obvious first question in response to news of the new mandate is: what exactly is being required? Thankfully, the White House has broken its COVID-19 plan down into clear steps. Here, we take a look at the ones that most directly impact employers.

1 – OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) – Employee Vaccination

In a measure soon to be implemented, all companies 100 employees or larger will be required to ensure one of the following:

  • Vaccination of all employees OR
  • Weekly negative COVID test results for all unvaccinated employees

Combined, these measures will impact around 80 million Americans.

2 – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Requirements

Most healthcare workers at facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement will now need to be vaccinated. This is an add-on to previous CMS requirements and standardizes requirements nationwide. These requirements will affect more than 17 million healthcare workers.

3 – OSHA Vaccination PTO Allotment Requirement

In a move to protect the rights of employees receiving vaccines, all employers will now be required to allow paid time off for the time needed to receive and recover from the vaccine.

As with any sweeping regulation involving large numbers of employees, the safest way to ensure compliance with these regulations is to implement a central, secure, and integrated system for collaboration and documentation. These are core needs for which OnTask is designed to be especially useful.

 

3 Ways OnTask can Simplify Your Business’ Vaccine Protocol

Implementing a company-wide COVID-19 protocol is a large feat, especially when it comes to launching with tight turnarounds. With OnTask, you can be up and running in just a few days, and have the support you need to ensure a successful rollout. Here are three ways OnTask helps simplify your business’ vaccine protocol:

1 – Collecting Proof of Vaccine Information

When you work in a large office setting, you’re dealing with employees whose health statuses vary. Some employees may have no issue getting the vaccine, whereas others have health conditions or religious restrictions that exempt them from vaccination. And, a handful of other employees may simply choose not to get the shot.

Navigating these different scenarios, which are contingent on multiple factors, can get complicated. 

OnTask streamlines your ability to track official vaccine cards by enabling employees to scan and upload their CDC cards from any device, at any time. With OnTask’s conditional logic, you can set responses and workflows to account for who is exempt from the vaccine, guaranteeing full transparency into who has been vaccinated. OnTask digitizes and stores this information for ease of review and reference, making your job a whole lot simpler. 

Plus, our automated reminders alert you and your employees to get your first or second dose, or even your boosters as they become available. OnTask also notifies unvaccinated employees when they’re due for their weekly COVID-19 testing. 

HR can also rest easy knowing that OnTask’s platform is secure and compliant with HIPAA, SOC2 and FERPA regulations. You and your employees don’t have to worry about data breaches or unauthorized access to valuable information. 

2 – Gathering COVID-19 Test Results

Bringing employees back to the office right now means increased efforts in sanitation, masking, and social distancing. What’s more, many employees experience high stress around the pandemic and may be concerned about unvaccinated coworkers. For this reason, you may have to take extra precautions to ensure an amicable and safe working environment for all employees. 

Moreover, depending on your organization’s size and requirements for unvaccinated employees — wearing a mask, mandatory temperature checks, limiting certain parts of the workplace to those vaccinated — you may have to monitor a high volume of COVID-19 test results. 

OnTask enables employees to submit their test results from any device. They can also upload documentation and digitally certify the information with legally binding signatures.

3 – Leveraging On-Site Health Screenings

Keeping your workplace safe and compliant with CDC guidelines can feel like an uphill battle. But conducting health screenings doesn’t have to be complicated. Instead of sifting through mountains of unmanageable paperwork, OnTask keeps your desk (and your desktop) clear and your organization safe – without the hassle. 

Our Digital Health Screening Forms offer faster, streamlined processes that give you immediate insights on the health of everyone in your workplace. The forms can be used for both employees and customers entering your business, and can be accessed via a link or QR code from any smartphone or digital device.

OnTask lets you customize easily, depending on how your workplace operates, too. You can create automated responses to the forms, for instance, so if someone entering your facility has been exposed to COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms, you can take quick precautions. 

Industrial Color, for example, uses OnTask’s Digital Health Screening Forms to administer and track health screenings for employees and actors coming onto their set. 

The NSHAHS team leverages OnTask’s conditional logic tools to collect vaccine cards from students and weekly COVID test results in a single workflow. This new process has allowed them to easily track the virus so that students can safely participate in extracurriculars. Read more about it in our case study.

 

Focus On Getting Employees Back Together, Not Stressing About Protocol

The ever-changing information we receive about COVID-19 safety challenges even the most organized business. Companies need a simple, adaptable, and secure solution to allow them to effectively implement policies that comply with new OSHA mandates. 

With the pandemic having brought stress to even the calmest offices, our team at OnTask is committed to building the ultimate tool for simplifying pandemic safety measures and tracking vaccines. 

Nothing truly removes the uncertainty of a global pandemic. Still, OnTask remains a powerful tool – eliminating needless error, stress, and inefficiencies for businesses. In doing so, it can equip employers to implement truly effective procedures in the fight against COVID-19.

We’re here to help you stay open and stay safe. Schedule your OnTask demo today.