Scott Statement on Virginia OSHA Approving Strong Worker Protections During COVID-19 Pandemic

July 15, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after Virginia became the first state in the country to approve an Emergency Temporary OSHA standard protecting the workers against exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. 

“I’m very pleased that the Commonwealth of Virginia has approved an Emergency OSHA standard to protect workers against COVID-19, and I applaud the Governor for his leadership on this issue.  In the absence of any serious attempt from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue or enforce strong protections for the millions of workers exposed to COVID-19, Virginia’s actions are critical to preventing workplace infections.  

“Since January, my Committee has repeatedly asked OSHA to issue an enforceable workplace safety standard, including directly asking the head of OSHA during a Committee hearing in May. To date, despite close to 3.5 million confirmed cases in the US, OSHA has yet to issue an enforceable standard to protect workers in nursing homes, meat packing plants, prisons, warehouses, and many other workplaces where we know the infection is likely to spread. 

“As the numbers of COVID-19 infections continue to rise across the country, protecting our workers is essential to stopping the spread of this virus and reviving the economy. Virginia’s courageous response to the COVID-19 pandemic should set the example for the rest of the country, and for federal OSHA.”

To read Mr. Scott’s letter in support of Virginia’s emergency standard, click here.