Inside President Biden’s Executive Order to Fight COVID-19 in the Workplace

Just one day after taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order intended to both better protect workers from COVID-19 and to better enforce workplace safety rules.

The move ignited a flurry of praise and criticism, with many claiming there will be unintended consequences to the economy and, ironically, also in the very hospitals treating those with the virus.

That’s a lot to unpack and — before we do — let’s take a look at the actual executive order.

The Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety

“President Joe Biden signed an executive order intended to both better protect workers from COVID-19 and to better enforce workplace safety rules.”

Signed on Jan. 21, the new executive order calls on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor to do the following:

  • Issue revised guidance, within two weeks, to employers on workplace safety during the pandemic.
  • Consider whether any emergency temporary standards, such as masks in the workplace, are necessary.
  • Review the enforcement efforts of OSHA related to COVID-19 and identify any changes that need to be made to protect workers better.
  • Launch a national program to focus OSHA enforcement efforts on violations that put the largest number of workers at risk.
  • Coordinate with states that have occupational safety and health plans approved under section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to help ensure that workers covered by such programs are adequately protected from COVID-19.
  • Team with the U.S. Department of Labor’s public affairs office and OSHA’s regional offices nationwide to create and implement a multilingual outreach campaign to inform workers and their representatives of their legal rights.

Taking Sides

As usual, reaction to the executive order is split along political lines. Democrats are pushing the changes as a logical reaction to a pandemic that’s already claimed more than 400,000 lives in the United States and is steadily creeping toward the 675,000 killed by the Spanish Flu in 1918.

Republicans say they are concerned about work workplace safety, too, but that regulations cannot be one-size-fits-all and will be overly burdensome on businesses that have already been devastated by the pandemic.

This is how Robyn Boerstling, who oversees human resources policy issues at the National Association of Manufacturers, described the situation to Politico.

“There is a big concern. Every manufacturing facility is generally different. They make different things, they have different procedures, they have different assembly lines, production processes. So, manufacturers need flexibility in different ways to implement their controls.”

“Manufacturers need flexibility in different ways to implement their controls.”

But there is an additional perspective to consider in the debate — hospitals claiming the new mandates will hamper their ability to treat patients.

The American Hospital Association, which represents more than 5,000 hospitals and healthcare providers, issued a fact sheet to its members warning that such mandates would create “a new layer of conflicting and unnecessary regulatory burden at precisely the wrong time.”

The association also warned that the new measures could cause hospitals to “dramatically reduce their inpatient capacity rather than potentially expose themselves to very large fines.”

The COVID-19 Workplace Solution

At Turing, we believe in getting ahead of the game — and making workplaces as safe as possible based on the science we have and what we know to be true.

And the Turing COVID-19 Workplace Solution does precisely that — in an incredibly efficient way that’s easy to set up and operate.

Using AI technology, the COVID-19 Workplace Solution accomplishes five critical tasks:

  • Requires employees to take a quick health questionnaire before entering the workplace.
  • Performs a contact-free temperature check.
  • Checks to be sure employees are wearing masks.
  • If needed, can conduct quick and efficient contact tracing.
  • Performs people/occupancy counting.

Although it’s based on advanced technology, the system is extremely simple to use. Here’s a quick video on how effortlessly it all works.

The COVID-19 Workplace Solution’s first goal is to protect employees but — in doing so — it also protects businesses from pandemic-related fines and litigation.

Businesses have an uphill battle to fight these days — and the COVID-19 Workplace Solution is one simple step they can take to help them not only survive but get ahead.

“COVID-19 Workplace Solution is one simple step they can take to help them not only survive but get ahead.”

The Nation’s No. 1 COVID-19 Response System

Already, the Turing COVID-19 Workplace Solution is in use at more than 1,000 businesses and organizations, including Coca-Cola, Albertsons, Mattel and many more.

That’s because it’s an easy and cost-effective way for business to protect both their employees and themselves.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Turing COVID-19 Workplace Solution can help safeguard your business, contact us at sales@turingvideo.com or by calling 866.339.4268. We’re eager to answer any questions you may have — or provide additional information about how Turing’s technology is being used in your industry specifically.

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