Dive brief: Most employers “no longer need to take steps to protect their workers from exposure to COVID-19 in any workplace, or well-defined parts of the workplace, where all employees are fully vaccinated,” the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in the guidance. Updated on Thursday. The agency has also published a temporary emergency standard for US healthcare employers. Employers included in the definition of the Temporary Emergency Standard must develop and implement a plan to protect employees from COVID-19 in the workplace, and must designate one or more workplace COVID-19 safety coordinators to implement and monitor their plans. Meanwhile, updated OSHA guidelines for all industries encourage employers to give employees paid time off to get vaccinated. Employers must also implement physical distancing for unvaccinated and other at-risk workers in collective work areas, including limiting the number of such workers in one location at any time. Dive Insight: The updated guidelines may help resolve some questions employers have been following after a May update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which, with some restrictions, fully masked individuals can resume activities without wearing a mask. Last month, OSHA directed employers to follow CDC guidelines on the use of masks and social distancing for fully vaccinated workers. OSHA’s June 10 announcement sparked a flurry of backlash from observers. While praising the healthcare industry’s temporary emergency standard as a “step in the right direction,” House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-Va, the Biden administration for not providing other specific guidance to employers. in other industries. “This ETS is long past due and does not provide meaningful protection for the many workers who remain at risk of critical illness from COVID-19,” Scott said in an emailed news release. Homeless shelters, grocery stores, and many other workplaces have to continue to rely on voluntary safety guidelines, which have failed to protect hundreds of thousands of workers and families from preventable infections throughout the pandemic.” In a statement emailed to Construction Dive, the president of Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen Sander, said the fact that the final standard only applies to healthcare settings is a “major victory” for the construction industry. The association has long questioned the need for ETS to build, saying that the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and industry-specific coronavirus safety protocols have eliminated the need for a national standard. However, OSHA has long faced pressure from worker advocates to publish emergency standards that address how to protect workers’ health and safety from COVID-19 in the workplace. After the agency’s initial guidance was released on January 29, a National Occupational Safety and Health Board official said that “OSHA and our federal government have failed us,” citing inadequate workplace inspections and data-logging practices, Construction Dive reported. Attempts to get the agency to publish the emergency standards included a lawsuit filed last year by the AFL-CIO, but a federal appeals court refused to compel OSHA to do so. In addition to the guidelines published by the CDC and OSHA, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in an updated technical assistance document on May 28 that employers may implement policies that require all employees who physically enter the workplace to receive a COVID-19 vaccine under federal equal opportunity employment laws, With some exceptions.