Washington State Updates to its COVID-19 Safe Workplace Standard

On June 30, 2021, Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has issued updates to its COVID-19 workplace safety regulations.  The requirements covered in our May 25, 2021 First To Know still remain in effect.  We are providing you with the following updated requirements. 

Under the new requirements, employers must:

  • Continue to ensure that unvaccinated employees wear a mask while working indoors.
  • Be able to verify vaccination status before lifting employee mask requirements and be able to show the process used for verification.
  • Procedure that keeps employees with possible or confirmed cases of COVID-19 from working around others.
  • Provide handwashing facilities and supplies.
  • Train employees to recognize and respond to workplace hazards, including COVID-19.
  • Have a process in place to assess recognized hazards, including COVID-19, as part of the ongoing requirement to provide a safe and healthful workplace and, where appropriate, take additional steps to protect unvaccinated employees.
  • Notification procedure for employees if someone they had close contact with tests positive for COVID-19 without disclosing the person’s identity.This process must be written and conducted within one business day of close contact.
  • Process to report COVID-19 outbreaks of 10 or more employees at workplaces or worksites with more than 50 employees to L&I within 24 hours.

Regarding uses of masks and face coverings in the workplace: 

  • Employers must provide cloth face coverings or a more protective mask to employees, free of charge, when use of a mask is required.
  • Employers may still require or encourage mask use, regardless of employee vaccination status.
  • Employees have the right to wear a mask or other protective equipment, regardless of their vaccination status, as long as it does not create safety issues.

It is important that employers can show the process used to verify employee vaccination status. Maintaining actual copies of the employee’s vaccination records is not required. 

Acceptable types of verification include:

  • Vaccine card or photo of vaccine card.
  • Documentation from a health care provider.
  • State immunization information system record.
  • A hard copy or electronically signed self-attestation from the employee.

More information on the updated rules and guidance is available.

PRINTING United Alliance seeks to keep the industry updated on workplace requirements related to COVID-19 workplace safety requirements.  These changes are rapidly evolving, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Marci Kinter, mkinter@printing.org , Gary Jones, gjones@printing.org, or Adriane Harrison, aharrison@printing.org

Also Tagged: First to Know, FP Advocacy, IPDAA Advocacy, SM Advocacy