A new COVID-19 vaccine requirement recently announced by President Joe Biden will affect some U.S. metalcasters.
Biden announced a six-point initiative on Sept. 9 intended to boost vaccinations, increase testing, and make COVID-19 treatments more widely available. Of particular interest to metalcasters is the new requirement that all private businesses with 100 or more employees mandate their workers to be vaccinated or undergo at least weekly COVID-19 testing.
In the next few weeks, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) implementing the new requirement, which will cover 80 million private-sector workers, including a number of U.S. foundries. Employers that don’t comply could face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. Furthermore, these companies will have to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or to recover from any side effects of getting vaccinated.
Republican governors from Texas to Missouri to Georgia, as well as others, have vowed to challenge the order in the courts.
The vaccination requirements would also be placed on over 2 million federal workers and contractors, with no option for tests, as well as millions of health care workers at employers that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Walmart, Amazon and Kroger will sell rapid COVID-19 tests at cost for the next three months, according to the plan.
AFS will provide the membership additional information once the new OSHA ETS is released. In addition, AFS is hosting its annual EHS Conference on Oct. 5-7 in Birmingham, Alabama, where will be discussing the new COVID-19 ETS and other important safety and health matters related to foundries. Registration is open here.
For additional information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Vice President of Government Affairs, at email@example.com.