DG Digest: FMCSA Posts Revisions to NHMRR and OSHA Issues Emergency Protections for Health Workers from Exposure to COVID-19

It’s now meteorological summer; time to dust off those hot weather work plans and make sure our fellow employees are acting safely under them—plenty of water, breaks when needed, limit time in closed and stuffy spaces, and most importantly, everyone looks out for each other.  Let’s have a safe working summer!  The regulatory news for the week was a little sparse, but there was an item or two of interest; let’s take a look:


The agency published revisions to the National Hazardous Materials Route Registry (NHMRR) reported to the FMCSA from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021. The NHMRR is a listing, as reported by States and Tribal governments, of all designated and restricted roads and preferred highway routes for transportation of highway route controlled quantities of Class 7 radioactive materials (HRCQ/RAM) and non-radioactive hazardous materials (NRHM). The routes are effective June 17, 2021. See the revisions here.


The agency issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID–19. Covered healthcare employers must implement plans to identify and control related hazards in the workplace and implement requirements to reduce transmission of COVID–19 in their workplaces related to the following:

  • Patient screening and management
  • Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), including facemasks or respirators
  • Controls for aerosol-generating procedures
  • Physical distancing of at least six feet, when feasible
  • Physical barriers
  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols
  • Ventilation systems
  • Health screening and medical management practices
  • Training, anti-retaliation measures, and recordkeeping and reporting requirements

The standard encourages vaccination by requiring employers to provide reasonable time and paid leave for employee vaccinations and any side effects. It also encourages use of respirators, where respirators are used in lieu of required facemasks, by including a mini respiratory protection program that applies to such use. Finally, the standard exempts from coverage certain workplaces where all employees are fully vaccinated and individuals with possible COVID–19 are prohibited from entry; and it exempts from some of the requirements of the standard fully vaccinated employees in well-defined areas where there is no reasonable expectation that individuals with COVID–19 will be present. The rule is effective June 21, 2021. See it here.

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