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March 11, 2022

Department of Labor to Increase Hospital Inspection Efforts

The Department of Labor announced its recognition of the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and concern about the healthcare industry’s preparation for any new variants. The Department seeks to  ensure that healthcare workers are provided proper necessary protections during the ongoing threat of COVID-19. To continue these efforts, on March 7, OSHA issued an enforcement memorandum regarding a short-term increase in inspections at hospitals and skilled nursing care facilities that treat or care for COVID-19 patients. 

The goal of these increased inspections would be to encourage control of the spread of COVID-19 and any future variants, while continuing to increase the protection of healthcare workers’ overall health and safety. The agency will begin with focused inspections to assess the current and future readiness of healthcare facilities to protect workers.  It will also conduct follow-up inspections at facilities that have been issued citations and where complaints were received without the agency conducting an in-person inspection at the time of the complaint.

Overall, the agency will assess and confirm facilities’ compliance actions and readiness to address any future surges. The agency seeks to expand its presence in targeted high-hazard facilities during the period from March 9 to June 9.