ANSWERED: 7 Common Questions about the OSHA COVID Mandate for Employers

ANSWERED: 7 Common Questions about the OSHA COVID Mandate for Employers

2 minute read

Everyone’s talking about the OSHA COVID Mandate for Employers. Here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions.

1. What is the OSHA COVID mandate?

The the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an organization within the US Department of Labor,The official name for the OSHA COVID mandate is the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Vaccination and Testing. Broadly speaking, it requires employers to establish, implement, and enforce a written mandatory vaccination policy. More specifically, the OSHA COVID mandate requires employers with a staff of 100 people or more to meet all of the following requirements:

  • Track employee current and future vaccination status.

  • Weekly testing for unvaccinated employees.

  • Monitor test results + quarantine positive cases.

  • Securely retain the data for federal reporting.

2. What is the purpose of the OSHA COVID mandate?

The stated goal of the OSHA mandate is to “implement a workplace health standard” which will “protect the health of workers by mitigating the spread of the unprecedented virus in the workplace.”

3. Is the OSHA COVID mandate lawful?

Currently, yes. On Dec. 17, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that had been imposed by the Fifth Circuit, putting the ETS’ employer vaccination and testing requirements for COVID-19 back into effect.

4. When will OSHA start enforcing the COVID mandate?

Following the Dec. 17th decision, OSHA announced a Jan. 10, 2022, effective date, but added it will not cite employers for noncompliance with the testing requirements prior to Feb. 9, 2022.

5. How can companies manage compliance with the OSHA COVID mandate?

A number of compliance management software companies, including Certemy, have introduced OSHA COVID mandate solutions specifically to help companies comply with the new mandate. These solutions typically provide the following benefits:

  • Ensure compliance with the OSHA COVID mandate.

  • Track employee vaccination and testing status in real-time.

  • Maintain employee compliance histories for internal and external audits.

6. What exactly should an OSHA COVID mandate software solution do?

A robust OSHA mandate compliance solution will provide the following four system functions:

  • 1: Survey — Requires employees and contractors to submit their current COVID status: Vaccinated; In testing; or Exempt. Employees that select Testing must provide a new negative test result weekly.

  • 2: Document — Allows employees to upload evidence documents to support their COVID status, including proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test result.

  • 3: Review — Enables company staff to review and approve submitted evidence documents. Rejected documents automatically prompt employees to submit revised documentation.

  • 4: Report — Lets company managers report OSHA COVID Mandate compliance across their organization.

7. What features should an OSHA COVID mandate software solution include?

A comprehensive OSHA COVID mandate solution should ideally include the following features.

  • Automatic reminders for employees and contractors to upload vaccination cards, test results, and exemptions.

  • Secure storage for uploaded vaccination cards, test results, and exemptions.

  • Dashboard for managers to verify uploaded vaccination cards and test results.

  • Dashboard for managers to track mandate compliance across employees and offices.

  • Manage medical and religious exemptions.

  • Easy to change as mandate requirements evolve.

  • Easy to integrate with other systems.

About the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA is a regulatory agency within the United States Department of Labor. OSHA's stated mission is to ensure that employees work in a safe and healthful environment by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.

Can we help?

With over 100 North American customers, Certemy is a leading provider of cloud-based employee compliance and credentialing management software for employers and professional credentialing organizations. Certemy also provides an OSHA COVID compliance solution. Learn more or book a demo at certemy.com/l/employee-vaccine-tracker.