AFL-CIO petitions Labor Department for emergency coronavirus standard

The AFL-CIO has petitioned U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak.

According to the petition, at least 19 million health care, social service, transportation and other workers would be at risk of exposure to COVID-19 if the virus intensifies.

“These are the workers who answer the call when an outbreak occurs,” the petition reads, “and they deserve to have confidence that the appropriate resources, equipment, training and protocols are readily available in their workplaces to protect themselves, as well as to avoid infecting other people.”

The petition states that the current government recommendations to protect workers fall short and that a new Emergency Temporary Standard should include several provisions, such as an exposure control plan, methods of compliance, medical surveillance and vaccinations, and communication of hazards and training.

The AFL-CIO is asking workers to urge their U.S. representatives to call on OSHA to issue this standard. To find your rep and get connected, click here or call 866-832-1560.

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