WHAT VIRGINIA EMPLOYERS CAN EXPECT IN THE COMING WEEKS
This article is the second in a three-part series discussing the New Emergency Temporary Standards for Employers in Virginia.
With the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s adoption of 16 VAC 25-220; which is called the Emergency Temporary Standard, Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19 (“ETS” or “Standard”), employers will need to make sure their businesses are in compliance with the Standard. Part two of this three-part series will explain how and when the Standard will take effect and how employers can become compliant with the Standard.
Under Va. Code § 40.1-22(6a), the Standard will take immediate effect upon its publication, in full, in a Richmond, VA newspaper, probably by July 27, 2020. In the July 15, 2020 electronic meeting, the Safety and Health Codes Board (Board) made clear that a compliance directive on inspection and enforcement procedures will be developed by the Department of Labor and industry’s staff and VOSH personnel. The text of the current draft is being finalized for publication, and will be on the website as soon as available. The Standard is set to expire after six months of the effective date or if superseded by a permanent standard or repealed by the Board.
The purpose of postponing the publication of the standard is to give time for it to be edited and allow the VOSH Cooperative Programs Division to create training and outreach products that will be available to employers and the general public.
Products being developed will include.
- A COVID-19 training PowerPoint for employers and employees with an included certification form;
- Training PowerPoint on the Standard with an included certification form;
- FAQs about the Standard;
- An Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan Template (different versions for different industries);
- Training PowerPoint on how to develop said Plan with an included training certification form; and
- A flowchart on how employers should determine classification of job tasks by hazards to which employees are potentially exposed as “very high,” “high,” “medium,” and “lower” exposure risk levels.
Employers to which the Standard applies will have 30 days from the effective date of the Standard to train their employees generally, which is required by the Standard.
Employers to which the Standard applies will have 60 days from the effective date of the Standard to develop and train employees on their Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan, which also is required by the Standard.
For any questions or further information about the Standard, please contact Arlene Klinedinst or Neil Lowenstein, co-chairs of the OSHA/VOSH Practice Group:
 § 40.1-22(6a).
 Sec. 80.
 Sec. 70.