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NRMCA Responds to Impending OSHA Employer Vaccine Mandate

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Earlier this week, NRMCA sent a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Marty Walsh and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Acting Assistant Secretary Jim Frederick informing them of the industry’s concerns regarding an impending Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for certain employers. NRMCA detailed to DOL/OSHA that the industry “has been a strong advocate for, and continues to openly encourage, getting COVID-19 vaccinations for employees throughout the industry. However, the Industry holds very serious concerns regarding mandating COVID-19 vaccinations of our workforce. The Industry is concerned about the lack of current ETS specifics needed for preparation and implementation, the inability for stakeholders to provide comment, and an overall lack of clarity for justification of an ETS. We are most concerned about how such a requirement will impact our workforce, that predominantly operates outdoors, but namely our ready mixed concrete mixer truck drivers that we are dependent on to deliver ready mixed concrete to the point of placement.”

NRMCA continued, “While the Industry is mainly concerned with drivers of ready mixed concrete trucks, we also worry about the impacts on aggregate haul truck drivers, cement tanker drivers, and others that we rely on who serve our Industry. Any forced mandate for drivers, regardless of company size, that may force drivers to resign would create a colossal and wide-spread problem. There simply are not enough drivers to replace any drivers that resign due to a vaccine mandate. This realization would have dire effects for the economic impact these drivers and their companies command, not to mention their impact on any infrastructure package that Congress ultimately approves.”

NRMCA closed its letter by stating, “NRMCA and the ready mixed concrete industry are committed to doing our part to help bring about the end to this unprecedented and unfortunate state of affairs. As recognized critical essential infrastructure that will be dramatically impacted by an ETS, we caution DOL and OSHA not to implement a regulatory scheme that would only serve to exacerbate the country’s COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage DOL and OSHA to temper the reach of the ETS so as to not adversely impact the ready mixed concrete industry’s workforce.”

NRMCA’s letter resulted from President Biden’s announcement from earlier this month directing OSHA to develop an ETS that “will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.” This mandate is of particular importance to the ready mixed concrete industry as concrete plants fall under the jurisdiction of OSHA. While there still remain a lot of unanswered questions, what we have heard from OSHA is:

  • The ETS and all pertinent details will be published within the coming weeks (no specific date);
  • When the ETS is published, it will become effective immediately;
  • OSHA will NOT be allowing stakeholders to provide input before the ETS is published/effective;
  • The ETS will become effective immediately in states that are under OSHA jurisdiction, but the 22 states that run their own safety plans will have 30 days to implement;
  • The 100 employee threshold is applied companywide, NOT by individual facility/location;
  • The ETS will likely NOT cover remote/physically isolated employees (no specifics yet);
  • Testing details, timing, verification, payment, paid time off (PTO), refusals, boosters, etc. will all be addressed in the ETS;
  • The mandate and testing requirements will mesh with any current requirements and laws already in effect, and
  • OSHA plans to publish a final rule on the issue within six months which will take into consideration stakeholder comments.

Click here to read NRMCA’s response letter, here to read the president’s remarks from earlier this month and here to review the president's six-pronged COVID-19 action plan.

NRMCA will continue to monitor this issue and advocate for beneficial industry outcomes with the Administration and OSHA.

For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at


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