Experts Urge More Action, Emergency OSHA Standard on COVID-19

Signers of the letter to the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials included David Michaels, former OSHA administrator under President Barack Obama. The letter’s signers contend that current CDC and OSHA guidance does not adequately address the risk of transmission through inhalation of small airborne particles. Much of the federal guidance still refers to exposure to “respiratory droplets.”

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More and More Hospital Surveys May Be Onsite, Depending on Conditions

In a memo initially issued January 20 to CMS’ state survey agencies (SA) and revised on February 18, the federal overseer of Medicare said it was directing accreditation organizations (AO) to also limit hospital surveys based on certain criteria. However, in many cases hospitals still may be subject to their regular onsite, triennial reaccreditation survey. And they will be unannounced, as usual.

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OSHA HazCom Updates Include Labeling, SDS Requirements

The proposal could lead to changes in labels and SDSs employers would receive. For example, the agency is proposing a new provision for small container labels for containers with a capacity less than or equal to 100 milliliters (ml). Such labels would be required to include, at a minimum, a product identifier; a pictogram(s); a signal word; the chemical manufacturer’s name and phone number; and a statement that the full label information for the hazardous chemical is provided on the immediate outer package.

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COVID-19 Prods Employers to Explore Virtual-Directed Health Plans

The move is largely a response to the tremendous increase in virtual care visits during the coronavirus public health emergency, according to Aon’s new report released Thursday. That shift in consumer behavior has led 36% of employers to say they are interested in exploring a virtual-directed health plan model with an online primary care platform that directs all care, including coordination with traditional health providers.

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OSHA Proposes Revised HazCom Standard to Conform to GHS

This action is expected to “address issues that arose during the implementation of the 2012 update to the HCS, and provide better alignment with other U.S. agencies and international trading partners, without lowering overall protections of the standard,” according to OSHA’s proposed rulemaking.

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