What You Need to Know About OSHA’s New Vaccination Requirements
Given the continuing challenges COVID-19 is presenting to the world, you may be wondering how your company can institute compliant policies and effectively protect your employees’ health. Previously, OSHA – the administration instituted in 1970 to protect worker safety and health rights – had been making strong recommendations to employers for implementing strong vaccination, prevention, and exposure tracking procedures.
But recently, new mandates announced by the Biden Administration have upped the ante. Among other things, OSHA will be requiring companies with 100 employees or more to ensure their employees are either vaccinated or undergoing weekly testing.
For larger companies especially, the responsibility of keeping regular tabs on all employees’ health status is understandably overwhelming. With the controversy surrounding the mandate, many employers are anxious to have an efficient, transparent way to ensure they and their employees are fully compliant with all requirements.
First, here are 3 key mandate facts you should be aware of.
New Regulations: The Basics
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.
OnTask: A Simple Solution
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.
A few key features are particularly relevant to recent COVID regulations: OnTask fully automates vaccination tracking, health screenings, COVID test result collection, and PTO requests related to COVID-19. And since the system doesn’t require coding knowledge, it can be used by everyone across the company.
OnTask is able to automate these crucial processes using conditional logic, making for simple workflows that can account for all requirements. For example, in a vaccination tracking workflow, participants can upload their documents, proof of exemption, or opt for bi-weekly testing. Depending on their input, they will be led down a unique path to gather information and provide next steps. OnTask also makes it easy to track multi-shot or booster vaccines with built-in reminders that prompt employees when it’s time to upload additional documents.
See an example of it here:
It is crucial to ensure anyone entering your business has complied with testing or vaccination status requirements, and OnTask’s conditional logic can help with this, too. Based on an employee’s current testing or vaccination status (or whether they have uploaded the needed documentation) OnTask can automatically admit or deny access to a business. Employees can also submit their testing information from anywhere, and it will be routed to HR automatically.
When an employee inputs new vaccination information, the built-in logic can even be set up to immediately notify HR, helping ensure employees are allotted the needed PTO. This way, you can be sure that your company is compliant with all facets of the new regulations, without overloading company resources with time-consuming administrative tasks.
Navigating an Ever-changing Environment
The ever-changing information the global community continues to receive regarding COVID-19 safety would challenge 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.
It may be true that 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.