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Harness Adds Features to Ease Compliance With OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Standard

Harness OSHA COVID Emergency Standard
January 11, 2022 at 12:00 p.m.

The new features to its safety app come as a welcome relief to contractors who are frustrated by the burden of compliance.  

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.  

Many employers are struggling to find ways to comply with the ETS. Harness will make compliance easier for contractors through the addition of several new features to its safety management platform. The features that are detailed below are available immediately as a paid add-on for existing Harness clients. Companies that don’t currently use Harness can purchase the ETS-related features via a special promotional plan starting today. 

What do employers need to do? 

Under the ETS, applicable employers are required to adhere to several requirements. The most notable of these are as follows: 

  • Develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead establish, implement and enforce a policy allowing employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at the workplace. 

  • Determine the vaccination status of each employee, obtain acceptable proof of vaccination from vaccinated employees, maintain records of each employee’s vaccination status, and maintain a roster of each employee’s vaccination status. 

  • Ensure that each employee who is not fully vaccinated is tested for COVID-19 at least weekly (if in the workplace at least once a week) or within seven days before returning to work (if away from the workplace for a week or longer). 

  • Provide each employee with information, in a language and at a literacy level the employee understands, about the requirements of the ETS and workplace policies and procedures established to implement the ETS; vaccine efficacy, safety and the benefits of being vaccinated (by providing the CDC document “Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines”); protections against retaliation and discrimination; and laws that provide for criminal penalties for knowingly supplying false statements or documentation. 

  • Make certain records available for examination and copying to an employee (and to anyone having written authorized consent of that employee) or an employee representative. 

When does the OSHA ETS take effect? 

  • Employers must comply with most provisions by January 10, 2022. 

  • Employers must comply with the testing requirement by February 9, 2022. 

There are pending legal challenges to the ETS via the United States Supreme Court but employers are strongly encouraged to begin complying immediately as a favorable ruling is not assured. Employers face steep fines for non-compliance and may also have issues due to changing workplace conditions on existing jobs. Employers may also find winning new bids becomes difficult if they are not in compliance with the ETS. 

How will Harness help? 

In order to help employers more easily comply with the OSHA ETS, Harness has developed several new features including: 

  • New toolbox talks and training lessons to help supervisors and regular field workers understand the ETS and to help employers meet the educational aspects of the standard. 

  • A form to collect workers’ vaccination status. The status is stored on the worker’s profile. Administrators can view, update and share the worker vaccination roster easily. 

  • A form used to document weekly test results for unvaccinated workers. Workers can upload their own results or they can be uploaded by a Harness administrator. 

  • Weekly text and email reminders for unvaccinated workers that they must submit their test results or provide them to a company representative. 

Additionally, Harness will provide its clients with templates for a COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing policy as well as copies of all relevant OSHA ETS materials within the app so they can be reviewed anytime, anywhere, on any device. 

What will these features cost? 

Existing Harness customers can have these new ETS features enabled as a premium add-on. The cost will vary depending on their existing Harness billing plan.  

Companies that don’t currently use Harness can purchase the ETS compliance features a-la-carte for a one-time setup fee and monthly subscription based on their number of employees. 

One time setup fee $0 for existing clients. For all new clients deploying ETS features: $1,000 

Monthly subscription for ETS features only: 

  • 100-200 employees - $179 

  • 200-300 employees - $299 

  • 300-400 employees - $399 

  • 400+ employees - Contact us 

Webinar on ETS features 

Harness will be holding a webinar on Friday, January 7 at 1 p.m. ET to showcase the new ETS features and answer employers’ questions.   

Register for the webinar here.

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