Dingell, Tlaib, Levin Call on Biden Administration for OSHA Emergency Standard
Letter Highlights Michigan COVID-19 Outbreak and Lack of Federal Support for Workers
Washington, April 26, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC - Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Andy Levin (MI-9) today sent a letter to President Biden calling for the issuance and implementation of an OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard, which was planned to go into effect by March 15th. The federal standard would protect the health and safety of frontline workers and help them respond more effectively to the COVID-19 crisis.
As the ICU capacity in Michigan hospitals reached 84%, the highest in the U.S., Michigan COVID-19 deaths neared over 60 per day last week, and frontline workers still do not have the proper protective equipment, the Representatives wrote:
“On January 21, 2021, you issued Executive Order 13999 entitled ‘Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety.’ That order calls on OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard by March 15th. It is now April 26th, forty-two days after that deadline, and we are still waiting for the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard to be issued. In the meantime, nurses and other frontline workers are still being put at risk of exposure to this deadly virus every day. A federal OSHA standard is important not only for protecting workers on the job, but is also an essential component of a comprehensive pandemic response to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
The lawmakers continued, “Here in Michigan, we are in urgent need of a strong and enforceable federal Emergency Temporary Standard to provide the full protections they need, and they need it now. These standards must include widespread testing of patients and staff, distribution of optimal PPE, and mandated reporting of healthcare worker infections and fatalities, among other critical protections… we request a detailed explanation of why the Emergency Temporary Standard required under Executive Order 13999 has not yet been implemented now six weeks after the initial deadline of March 15th.”