WASHINGTON – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) today applauded the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) for its enforcement of COVID-19 health care standards to regulate workplace safety. The state of Arizona failed to adopt the minimum federal temporary COVID-19 workplace safety standards to protect health care workers. OSHA announced they will step in if Arizona continues to fail to act.
Failure to adopt the federal Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) includes certain critical COVID-related safety measures by employers for coronavirus protection including providing personal protective equipment (PPE), screening requirements, ventilation, exposure procedures, and paid time to receive vaccinations.
“Throughout the pandemic, Arizona under the leadership of Governor Doug Ducey and the GOP legislature have failed to appropriately address the severity of COVID-19 and the delta variant. Actively refusing to provide safety standards to protect health care workers that have been combatting COVID-19 is indefensible and immoral. Something as simple as informing a health care worker post exposure, can be the difference in them bringing COVID-19 home to their children.” said Rep. Grijalva.
“I applaud the Biden administration and OSHA’s quick response to concerns raised by nurses. Their action will help enforce more rigorous workplace safety oversight and COVID-19 protections for frontline workers and working people. Until working people feel safe and secure in the workplace, we will never be able to fully recover or rebuild.”
As a senior member of the Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Grijalva was an early proponent of an Emergency Protective Standard to address COVID-19 workplace safety. He is an original cosponsor of the COVID–19 Every Worker Protection Act. On Dec. 9, 2020 Rep. Grijalva sent a letter to OSHA urging them to do more to enforce the nation’s COVID-19 worker health and safety laws.