Virginia creates first pandemic workplace safety measures

Virginia will become the first state to craft workplace safety rules in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a move state leaders said they had to do because they had little federal guidance or enforcement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Washington Post reports.

According to the report, OSHA has issued only one citation in response to more than 4,000 coronavirus-related complaints. Under Virginia’s rules, employers would be forced to notify workers of possible exposure to infected co-workers within 24 hours.

Sanitation and disinfection procedures would also be outlined. State inspectors will enforce the regulations, under penalties of up to $124,000 and the threat of closure.