On July 15, Virginia adopted the nation’s first state-level COVID-19 workplace safety requirements (available here) —formally §16VAC25-220, Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).

According to a news release from the Office of the Governor, these rules “will protect Virginia workers by mandating appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces across the Commonwealth. The actions come in the absence of federal guidelines.”

Many of the new rules are consistent with the Governor’s executive orders and/or guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means many ETS requirements will be familiar to VADA members, who have adhered to such practices for months. The ETS adds to and operates separate from those orders. Also, unlike CDC guidance, the ETS is binding regulatory law that, if violated, might result in significant civil penalty.

DOLI has a thorough COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard resource center.

VADA has created a checklist and offers two webinars to help their members understand the new ETS.

VADA staff created the following questions and answers to help its members understand what is required of them under the new ETS (available as a PDF or in drop-down form below).

In addition to reviewing the following, it is important you thoroughly review the full ETS with counsel to ensure compliance. As mentioned herein, DOLI has indicated the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program is creating materials to help employers in that regard.

Disclaimer: The following analysis does not provide, and is not intended to constitute, legal advice. All content is for general information purposes only. VADA members should consult legal counsel when making decisions relating to the §16VAC25-220, Emergency Temporary Standard.

§16VAC25-220, Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)