Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight December 9, 2020

Issue link: http://psai.uberflip.com/i/1316653

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ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION DECEMBER 9, 2020 Page 2 OSHA Standards and Enforcement Expected in 2021…continued from page 1 Continued on page 7 Below are some specific actions previously discussed by the Biden campaign which will likely affect portable sanitation directly or indirectly in the not-too-distant future. 1. An Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 President-elect Biden has already urged the government to "immediately release and enforce an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to give employers and front line employees specific, enforceable guidance on what to do to reduce the spread of COVID." There is no indication this will occur prior to the inauguration, even though Congressional representatives from both parties have called for one since early in the pandemic. It is likely the Biden team will work with a variety of stakeholders to write an ETS focused on COVID-19 if the pandemic continues to impact worker safety in early 2021. That is especially probable if the vaccine is not immediately available for all who need it. Now that vaccine therapies are on the horizon, an important related issue is whether an OSHA COVID-19-focused ETS will address vaccines. Some workers, such as those in healthcare and front- line jobs dealing with the public, are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 through their jobs. So whether an ETS will address vaccine requirements through OSHA enforcement is a serious issue, and one for which there is already a precedent. OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030 requires employers to offer the Hepatitis B vaccination to all employees who may reasonably anticipate contact with blood while performing their job duties. We'll be watching any ETS language for vaccine implications related to the portable sanitation workforce. TIP: To prepare for a Temporary Emergency OSHA Standard, portable sanitation company leaders can start immediately by reviewing their current safety policies and procedures to make sure they are compliant with existing CDC guidance and OSHA guidelines. Any emergency standard will likely reflect the groundwork that has already been laid. Also, make sure your records are up to date. Enforcement action usually circles around what you can demonstrate actually happens, not just what is supposed to happen. A lot of inspections currently are of the "phone fax" variety. This means if there is a complaint or concern with your company, OSHA will contact you and ask you to produce records demonstrating your compliance. If you can do that, oftentimes the matter ends. If you cannot, you may see an inspector at your door. 2. A Significant Increase in the Number of OSHA Inspectors Long before COVID-19, OSHA standards already required hand wash facilities with hot and cold or tepid water, adequate numbers of toilet facilities, and adequate cleaning/pumping. Even though these requirements are lower than the PSAI recommends, they are better than what workers on job sites often experience. Portable sanitation operators report they try to educate customers about these standards but are often rebuffed because lack of enforcement means the standards can be ignored with little downside for the customer.

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