The ANSI Federation and standardization community are stepping up with guidance, resources, and initiatives to support public health and safety and the nation's recovery. Suggestions for news items may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions are published at ANSI's discretion.
ASSP Webinar on OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard: What an OSH Professional Needs to Know
The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) will host a free webinar event: “OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS): What an OSH Professional Needs to Know,” to cover key provisions of the ETS and provide an overview of the scope and timeline of the rule.
On November 4, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new emergency temporary standard, in an effort to protect more than 84 million workers from the spread of the coronavirus on the job. The ETS requires large employers (100 or more employees) to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.
ASSP’s webinar on December 15, 2021, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT, will examine various legal and policy considerations around ETS, and help occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals build an understanding of compliance requirements, in addition to the steps individuals/companies can take to effectively implement the rule in the workplace.
Speakers will include Deborah R. Roy, president of SafeTech Consultants Inc. (former ASSP president); Barry S. Spurlock, J.D., CSP; Courtney Malveaux, principal at Jackson Lewis P.C.; and Julian Mercer, director, global environmental, health and safety at Hexagon Composites.
Access the more meeting information and register via ASSP’s website.
Streamlined NIST Tool Could Help Homeowners, Renters Reduce Airborne Exposure to COVID-19
During the holiday season, researchers at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed a simple interactive webpage featuring a new Virus Particle Exposure in Residences tool—a single zone indoor air quality and ventilation analysis tool, designed to evaluate an occupant’s relative exposure to virus-laden particles exhaled by a contagious visitor inside a home.
Nicknamed “ViPER,” the tool is intended to guide people in selecting strategies to reduce the number of airborne particles indoors in general, which could in turn mitigate COVID-19 transmission. However, as NIST reports, the tool is mostly geared toward engineers, building managers, and others familiar with heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as it requires users to provide a great deal of technical information about a space and its HVAC system.
Ultimately, the interactive tool will provide relevant information to residents and better equip them to take basic but important steps for COVID-19 prevention, whether that means adding a portable air cleaner or running an HVAC system fan for longer than typical.
A research team at NIST team, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and with support from the CDC Foundation, a nonprofit organization, developed the streamlined tool based on an earlier tool developed in 2020.
NIST notes that ViPER is still only able to approximate any home as a single space, and there are several other factors not yet accounted for in the tool, such as the exhaust-only ventilation provided by bathrooms and kitchen fans.
Read more about how ViPER works in the recently published NIST news article.
Mayo Clinic Publishes Strategies for Safe Holiday Travel
While keeping a physical distance from holiday travelers may be a challenge, having some key strategies in mind may help reduce infection rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Mayo Clinic, the latter of which offers travel recommendations in a new video.
The latest Mayo Minute Clinic video features Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases physician, who emphasizes that flu vaccination during this season is equally important. “Kids, pregnant women, and older adults are at risk of complications, so apply the same good hygiene strategies because flu is spread in very much the same ways that COVID-19 is spread.”
Access the on-demand Mayo Clinic news and video.
See more ANSI member efforts in the ANSI COVID-19 Resource Webpage Highlighting Standardization Community Response.