National Construction Practice Safety Alert

In response to an Executive Order from President Joe Biden, OSHA has launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) on COVID-19 that focuses enforcement efforts on companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus and prioritizes employers that retaliate against workers for complaints about unsafe or healthy conditions, or for exercising other rights protected by federal law.

The Executive Order, signed January 21, directs OSHA to consider an emergency temporary standard (ETS) related to COVID-19, and if determined to be necessary, issue it by March 15.

To date, OSHA had made no announcement about an ETS. 

Industries targeted for enforcement under the NEP are contained in Appendices A and B of the NEP and include NAICS codes where OSHA data shows the highest number of workers expected to perform tasks associated with exposure to COVID-19. To determine if your company may be in the targeted category, see Appendices A and B on pages 24-27 of the NEP.

Some State Plans have already adopted similar enforcement programs. Although implementation of the NEP by State Plans is not required, those that haven’t are strongly encouraged to implement the NEP, and State Plans must inform the agency about their intention to adopt the NEP within 60 days.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact your EPIC team.

For more of EPIC’s coronavirus coverage, visit 

EPIC National Construction Practice

Our dedicated construction team operates as your business partner and trusted advisor – not just offering transaction-based, reactionary services, but providing forward-thinking consulting and advocacy. Our teams have a focus in the construction space specifically for contractors, real estate, rental equipment operations, as well as energy.