NRMCA, Federal Officials Discuss Potential COVID-19 Emergency Standard
Earlier this week, NRMCA Safety, Environmental and Operations staff met with members of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), members from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Small Business Administration (SBA) to discuss the potential of an emergency temporary standard (ETS) DOL is promulgating. The potential ETS would require businesses take certain steps to keep workers safe from COVID-19 transmission, an escalation of DOL’s current COVID-19 focus from voluntary guidance to a specific mandate.
NRMCA relayed to OIRA, DOL and SBA staff that such a standard is not only not necessary, but that the current COVID-19 cases, deaths and vaccination data don’t support mandating new measures. NRMCA outlined the specifics of the ready mixed concrete industry, its workforce, when, where and how employees work, as well as how the industry has kept its workforce safe since the inception of the pandemic. NRMCA also conveyed the work it has done with industry partners on workplace safety and what an ETS should encompass if finalized.
OIRA will likely finalize its assessment of the ETS in the next couple of weeks at which time any potential ETS language could be released. After OIRA’s review, the rule’s finalization could follow. NRMCA will continue to monitor movement on the potential ETS from OIRA and DOL.