Virginia Permanent Standard Package for Employers
On January 27, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that he had approved a Final Permanent Standard (Permanent Standard) for preventing COVID-19 in the workplace, making Virginia the first state in the nation to implement a permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health standard. The Permanent Standard, which applies to all employers in the Commonwealth, supersedes the Emergency Temporary Standard that had been in place since July 2020 but expired on January 26, 2021. The Permanent Standard, like the Emergency Temporary Standard, requires employers to implement measures to help slow the transmission of, and protect workers from, COVID-19. There are several baseline obligations that employers must meet to comply with the rule. The Permanent Standard includes mandates such as performing a hazard assessment, implementing feasible engineering and administrative controls, implementing an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan (IDPRP), and conducting training.
The Virginia Final Permanent Standard Package for Employers includes a comprehensive template policy that implements the standard and “doubles” as an IDPRP. This policy can be easily adapted to the unique characteristics of a worksite. The package also includes several fillable forms and a hazard assessment matrix.