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Virginia Adopts First COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standard

Date: July 28, 2020

On July 15, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board approved temporary emergency standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. These standards went into effect July 27, 2020 and remain in place until either six months after implemented date, upon expiration of the Governor’s State of Emergency, or when superseded by a permanent standard. These new rules include mandatory face coverings, regular cleanings, and notifying employees within 24 hours if a worker tests positive for COVID-19, etc. Additional requirements are necessary for jobs at “very high,” high,” and “medium” exposure levels, as outlined in OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. Violation fees can cost employers $13,000, with repeat violations fees reaching $130,000. Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry plans to publish training materials and programs free of charge. Please contact Melanie Weiland for more information.


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