Breaking Down the new OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard: Subpart U

As COVID-19 continues to evolve, so do the guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA recently released a new emergency temporary (ETS) standard regarding COVID-19. The following write-up breaks down the nuts and bolts of the new standard, diving into some of its key components.

What Is The New Emergency Temporary Standard?

COVID-19 ETS Subpart U is a new OSHA temporary standard aimed at protecting healthcare workers from the dangers associated with COVID-19. This standard is effective as of June 21, 2021. Employers must comply with most provisions within 14 days, and with provisions involving physical barriers, ventilation, and training within 30 days. 

Who is Affected by the Emergency Temporary Standard

The new standard applies to:

The new standard does not apply to:

Key Highlights of the COVID-19 ETS Subpart U

Below is a summary of some of the key elements included in the emergency temporary standard.

1 COVID-19 LOG: This is separate from the OSHA 300 Log.  Employers must have a separate COVID-19 log where ALL employees who contract COVID are put on, regardless of where they contracted it. 
2  If there is a compensable workers’ compensation claim relating to a positive COVID-19 result identified as a workplace injury/illness, or a workplace injury/illness requiring isolation/quarantine, the employer would be responsible for continuing benefits for the first three days, after which, workers’ compensation benefits will be triggered.  The employee must also remain eligible for any incentives or benefits being offered, such as a bonus after X amount of continued work/time is completed.
If there is NOT a compensable WC claim (i.e., an employee has to isolate/quarantine after being identified as a close contact to a confirmed case), the employer would be responsible for continuing benefits when the employee is away from work.

Non-Healthcare Setting Guidance

The following guidance is tailored towards those in a non-healthcare-specific setting, such as schools or manufacturing facilities.

Record cases on the OSHA 300 log after making a “good faith” effort to determine exposure.  

Report COVID hospitalizations and fatalities to OSHA only if:

Employers can report COVID-19 fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations by: 

Protect non-vaccinated employees and other “at risk” workers (those who are transplant recipients, who regularly take immune-weakening medicine (such as corticosteroids), or otherwise identified in CDC guidance regarding underlying medical conditions).

OSHA advises that employers encourage employees to be vaccinated. 

Grant PTO to obtain vaccinations (not a requirement like it is for the healthcare industry). 

OSHA advises that businesses institute a Workplace Prevention Program (to defend potential claims, prevent infection, etc.).


Talk to your trusted RCM&D advisor today for more on OSHA temporary emergency standards for COVID-19 safety. You can also go to OSHA’s website for more information as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

For more information regarding SISCO’s Vaccine Tracking Solution, visit our website