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Minnesota OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Federal OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On January 3, 2022, the Minnesota Occupational Safety Administration (MNOSHA) had adopted the Federal Occupational Safety Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that was originally enacted on November 5, 2021, and planned to follow the federal timeline regarding enforcement. Specifically, MNOSHA planned to begin enforcement as of January 10, 2022, and would refrain from issuing citations for infractions until February 22, 2022, as long as businesses were making “good faith” efforts for implementation.

However, on January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court issued their opinion on the OSHA ETS, causing it to be stayed once again and the decision will be reviewed for appeal by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, OSHA has formally withdrawn the ETS. Previously, MNOSHA issued their own notice that would temporarily suspend enforcement of the ETS until a decision had been made on the ETS. However, now that the ETS has been formally withdrawn, it is unclear what MNOSHA intends to do going forward. MNOSHA is still “strongly encouraging all employers to continue to implement the requirements of the ETS to protect employees from a hazard that too often causes death or serious physical harm.” However, participation in implementing ETS requirements is strictly voluntary at this time.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers are encouraged to take steps to show “good faith” efforts detailed within the ETS in order to best prepare for any potential adoption. Employers with questions or concerns are encouraged to speak with legal counsel or may contact MNOSHA directly.

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