NAHB CEO Jerry Howard spoke today at a roundtable that explored the impact OSHA’s COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate will have on businesses across the country.
“NAHB supports the CDC’s vaccination efforts regarding safety, effectiveness, and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination among construction workers,” said Howard at a roundtable convened by Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “But we have concerns regarding the procedures OSHA has used to issue its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).”
Howard noted that OSHA did not accept formal public comment prior to issuing the ETS, which would have allowed those impacted the opportunity to provide valuable information to the agency.
Further, the construction industry is low risk for transmission and spread of COVID-19, and applying the ETS to the construction industry is not appropriate under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA’s own assessment and guidance documents have shown most construction work poses “low exposure risk” because the construction sector generally has minimal contact with the public.
The result is a rule that is broadly unnecessary to protect construction workers on the jobsite, and that will exacerbate both labor shortages and supply chain challenges, with workers likely to leave their jobs in the face of the mandates.
“Overall, the home building industry is generally low risk for COVID-19 exposure, and the industry has been proactive at protecting its workers throughout the pandemic,” said Howard. “NAHB continues to promote jobsite safety and help its members protect construction workers from the virus.”
For more information on the ETS and its impact on the home building industry, please visit the NAHB COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS Toolkit. For more information about vaccinations, including resources in your area, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness page on nahb.org.