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On January 29, OSHA published revised guidelines for employers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in America’s workplaces. These guidelines addressed the need for social distancing and masking of ALL employees in the workplace. 

Fast-forward to May 16, the CDC issued guidelines that eliminated the need for social distancing and masking of vaccinated individuals in all public spaces, including America’s workplaces. 

Currently, the recent CDC guidance is at odds with OSHA’s instructions issued on January 29. OSHA has indicated it will revise its guidance at some point in the future but has not established a date by which this will be completed. 

We advise employers to review the CDC guidance issued on May 16 and adjust their COVID-19 written safety program to include the new provisions in the CDC guidelines. If your written procedures call for social distancing and masking for all employees, including vaccinated individuals, you may wish to relax distancing and masking requirements for vaccinated employees. It is never a good look when an OSHA compliance officer discovers policies in writing that are not being enforced. Even though OSHA has not yet revised their own guidelines, and with no indication of when they will, we recommend employers use the CDC guidance to shape their written COVID-19 safety protocols. 

Horton’s safety consulting team has been assisting employers in developing and implementing effective COVID-19 exposure control safety programs and protocols. Please reach out if you have questions or would like assistance creating or revising your program. 

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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