March 12, 2020
The Honorable Bobby Scott
Education & Labor Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Re: H.R. 6139
Dear Chairman Scott:
On behalf of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), I am writing to voice our strong support for H.R. 6139, the ‘‘COVID–19 Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2020.”
ACOEM is a national medical society representing 4,000 occupational medicine physicians and other health care professionals devoted to promoting optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments. The College is dedicated to improving the care and well-being of workers through science and the sharing of knowledge.
On March 6, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received two petitions calling on OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19. An emergency temporary standard is necessary to ensure the immediate protection of workers in health care workplaces and other high-risk workplaces identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from an infection related to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2020 directs OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard within 30 days that sets requirements for how workplaces must safeguard health care workers against the spread of the coronavirus. A permanent standard must follow.
Thank you for your continued leadership in protecting workers from the spread of COVID-19. Please do not hesitate to contact Patrick O’Connor, ACOEM’s Director of Government Affairs, at 703-351-6222 with any questions.
Stephen A. Frangos, MD, MPH, FACOEM