OSHA Clarifies Which Truckers Are Exempt From COVID-19 Shot-Or-Test Mandate
Washington D.C. — The Biden Administration has finally offered some clarity on which truckers will be exempted from the Occupational Safety and Health Agency’s (OSHA) COVID-19 shot-or-test mandate.
It’s been more than two months since President Biden announced the details of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) — which forces employers with 100 employees or more to require employees be fully vaccinated or ensure all unvaccinated employees wear a facial covering and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test each week — and trucking stakeholders have been left in limbo since that time… until today.
After months of asking OSHA for guidance on the matter, on Wednesday, the Agency finally provided some answers to trucking stakeholders.
“There is no specific exemption from the standard’s requirements for truck drivers,” OSHA said in new guidance.
However, the Agency formally informed the ETS does NOT apply to “truck drivers who do not occupy vehicles with other individuals as part of their work duties” as well as drivers “who encounter other individuals exclusively in outdoor environments.”
Additionally, OSHA explained truckers who have “de minimus” or limited contact with others in indoor spaces — such as “using a multi-stall bathroom or entering an administrative office only to drop off paperwork” — will also be exempted from the ETS if the employer can sufficiently document this is the case.
Team truckers, however, WILL be subject to the ETS, the Agency confirmed.
Moreover, OSHA said employers must still count exempted truck drivers for purposes of the 100-employee threshold outlined in the ETS.
The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is currently deciding whether or not to strike down, halt, or uphold the ETS after dozens of business groups, including the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and multiple state trucking groups, filed suit challenging the draconian requirements.
A ruling could come as soon as Thursday.
Click HERE to read more on the case.
TransportationNation.com will soon have more reaction from around the trucking industry on this breaking story.