Viewpoint: OSHA should play a bigger role in protecting workers during pandemic

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has failed to fulfill its responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal government could better leverage the agency to help safeguard workers, according to September 16, 2020 JAMA Viewpoint article co-authored by Gregory Wagner, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

OSHA should issue a temporary order requiring all employers to create and implement an infection control plan, according to the authors.

“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic requires strong and immediate action, including by government agencies, unions, employers, and workers,” the authors wrote. “Worker protection needs to become a high priority for the federal government, and the White House should create a comprehensive roadmap that focuses on worker protection.”

Read the JAMA Viewpoint article: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Worker Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Read an article co-authored by Gregory Wagner from The Century Foundation: Halting Workplace COVID-19 Transmission: An Urgent Proposal to Protect American Workers