Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor And Employment
Agency 25. Safety And Health Codes Board
Chapter 220. Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19
12/3/2021

16VAC25-220-10. Purpose, scope, and applicability.

A. This chapter is designed to establish requirements for employers to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to and among employees and employers.

B. This chapter is adopted in accordance with subdivision (6a) of § 40.1-22 of the Code of Virginia and shall apply to every employer, employee, and place of employment in the Commonwealth of Virginia within the jurisdiction of the VOSH program as described in 16VAC25-60-20 and 16VAC25-60-30.

1. Should the federal COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, 29 CFR 1910.502, et seq., applicable to settings where any employee provides health care services or health care support services, be adopted by the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board and take effect, application of this chapter, except for 16VAC25-220-40 B 7 d and B 7 e and 16VAC25-220-90, to such covered employers and employees subject to the chapter shall be suspended while the federal COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard remains in effect.

2. Should the federal COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, 29 CFR 1910.502 et seq., applicable to settings where any employee provides health care services or health care support services, be adopted by the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board but later be stayed or invalidated by a state or federal court, the provisions of this chapter, including 16VAC25-220-50, shall immediately apply to such employers and employees in its place with no further action of the board required.

3. Should the federal COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, 29 CFR 1910.502 et seq., applicable to all settings where any employee provides health care services or health care support services, be adopted by the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board but later be stayed by federal OSHA, or otherwise revoked, repealed, declared unenforceable, or permitted to expire, the provisions of this chapter, including 16VAC25-220-50, shall immediately apply to such employers and employees in its place with no further action of the board required. In addition, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board shall within 30 days, notice a regular, special, or emergency meeting/conduct a regular, special, or emergency meeting to determine whether there is a continued need for this chapter or whether it should be maintained, modified, or revoked.

C. This chapter is designed to supplement and enhance existing VOSH laws, rules, regulations, and standards applicable directly or indirectly to SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease-related hazards such as, but not limited to, those dealing with personal protective equipment, respiratory protective equipment, sanitation, access to employee exposure and medical records, occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories, hazard communication, § 40.1-51.1 A of the Code of Virginia, etc. Should this standard conflict with an existing VOSH rule, regulation, or standard, the more stringent requirement from an occupational safety and health hazard prevention standpoint shall apply. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this standard, no enforcement action shall be brought against an employer or institution for failure to provide PPE required by this standard if such PPE is not readily available on commercially reasonable terms and the employer or institution makes a good faith effort to acquire or provide such PPE as is readily available on commercially reasonable terms. The Department of Labor and Industry shall consult with the Virginia Department of Health as to the ready availability of PPE on commercially reasonable terms and, in the event there are limited supplies of PPE, whether such supplies are being allocated to the appropriate workplaces.

D. Reserved.

E. To the extent that an employer actually complies with a recommendation contained in current CDC guidelines, whether mandatory or non-mandatory, to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease related hazards or job tasks addressed by this chapter , the employer's actions shall be considered in compliance with this chapter. An employer's actual compliance with a recommendation contained in current CDC guidelines, whether mandatory or non-mandatory, to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 related hazards or job tasks addressed by a provision of this chapter shall be considered evidence of good faith in any enforcement proceeding related to this chapter. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry shall consult with the State Health Commissioner for advice and technical aid before making a determination related to compliance with current CDC guidelines.

F. Nothing in the chapter shall be construed to require employers to conduct contact tracing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease.

Statutory Authority

§ 40.1-22 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. January 27, 2021; amended, Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 3, eff. September 8, 2021.

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