Virginia to finalize nation's first COVID-19 workplace safety standards

After several weeks of discussion, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (Board) on July 15, 2020 adopted the nation's first workplace safety standards designed to establish requirements for employers to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

At this time, the text of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) has not been finalized; however, it will take effect immediately upon final publication, which is expected sometime during the week of July 27, 2020. The announcement of the Board's action is available here. These standards will be enforceable by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry's Occupational Safety and Health Program (VOSH), which can inspect workplaces and impose financial penalties for violation, including up to US$130,463 for each willful or repeated violation (with smaller penalties for lesser violations), as well as criminal penalties in certain circumstances.

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