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Council to Comment on OSHA Vaccine Mandate

The Council is formulating comments on two important upcoming rules that could have significant impacts on our sector – the OSHA Vaccine Mandate and EPA’s Methane Rule. In order to ensure that the opinions and technical expertise of all Member Companies is represented in these comments, the Council plans to form task forces to assist. Contact Tim Tarpley should you wish to participate in either task force.

OSHA Vaccine ETS

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a draft emergency temporary standard (ETS) targeting U.S. companies with more than 100 employees that either requires their employees to become vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing and mask wearing. (OSHA has temporarily suspended implementation of the vaccine mandate.)

Written comments, including comments on any aspect of this ETS and whether this ETS should become a final rule, must be submitted by December 6, 2021, in Docket No. OSHA-2021-0007. 

OSHA is specifically seeking comments to address the following: 

1.       Employers with less than 100 employees 

2.       “Significant Risk” 

  • This is a lower showing of risk than “grave danger,” the finding required to issue a 6(c)-emergency temporary standard.  
  • How should the scope of the rule change to address the significant risk posed by COVID-19 in the workplace? 

3.      *Prior COVID-19 infections (Natural immunity) 

4.       Experience with COVID-19 vaccination policies 

5.       COVID-19 testing and removal practices  

6.       *Face coverings 

7.       Other controls to limit the spread of COVID-19 (outside of vaccination, face coverings, weekly testing) – example: barriers 

8.       Educational materials 

9.       *Feasibility and health impacts 

So far, Council Members have express interest in the following areas for potential comment:

  • Testing and vaccine status reporting standards 
  • “Exclusively outside” 
  • Prior COVID infection
  • Company liability for worker false claims (company accountability) 

** We are open for additional areas if there is interest!

The draft language for the ETS can be found here. More information on the ETS comment period can be found here.

For additional information about this process or to discuss options for making comments, please contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.


Tim Tarpley, SVP Government Affairs & Counsel, analyzes federal policy for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, Council activities and more.
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