The 2020 presidential elections were expected to turn heads and make history in several ways. Voter turnout was at a historical high at 155,103,652, according to The Guardian.
Now that the dust has settled and the Biden transition team works towards coming into office in early 2021, what does this mean for the American people? More importantly, what does this mean for workers across America?
Throughout the campaign period, Biden turned heads by speaking about thought-provoking topics including worker safety and key measures he is planning on enacting when he enters office.
Safety Under the Trump Administration
Under the Trump administration, it has been noted by The Washington Post there was a large reluctance to “take major actions against companies whose workers became sick with or died of the coronavirus.” In the eyes of some Americans, it has been noted the Trump administration either took the proper acts or completely failed to protect workers from the risks of infection and exposure.
According to a letter written and signed by Loren Sweatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA, they had “refused to produce legally binding rules, known as emergency temporary standards.”
So, what is Biden’s plan and how will he change the current landscape for frontline workers?
Referencing his 4 Point Plan for Our Essential Workers campaign outline, he wants to ensure all frontline workers qualify for priority access to PPE and COVID-19 testing based on their exposure.
Moreover, he wants to establish and enforce health and safety standards for workplaces. Referencing the work by the Trump administration, Biden plans to undo this and restructure the current system.
From releasing and enforcing an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to finalizing a permanent infectious disease standard and doubling the number of OSHA investigators – Biden is taking the workplace safety realm by storm – and we’re all along for the ride.
These changes will not only cause a stir, but they will surely enough enact stringent measures to ensure frontline workers, of all sorts, are kept a priority and receive the care they need. How well this will be taken on by frontline workers and employers? We have yet to find out. We speculate there will be growing pains, as with any new adjustments, however with the main goal to ensure people are kept safe, we hope to see employers and workers alike to adapt well.
Impact on Society
These strenuous measures will require heavy communications efforts by management from every team member – senior leadership or not.
With the Senate being extremely close in majority, it will be interesting to see how each party will find a common ground to ensure the safety of the American people. It’s crucial for us to note any mandates being carried through to legislation will not be enforced easily or quickly.
With a new presidential administration entering the White House with new ideals, new values, and a hyperawareness of the global pandemic, there will be sweeping changes made.
It’s crucial the American people remain united and understanding of the core goal, which is to keep our front-line workers safe. Global pandemic or not, the safety of workers in any high-risk industry is to be taken seriously.
As the Biden administration takes power in early January 2021, we expect to see sweeping changes made to OSHA enforcement and pivotal societal shifts.
No matter the changes coming with the new president-elect, Alcumus eCompliance is here for everyone. Let’s work together to simplify this journey and ensure all workers arrive home safely. As things change across the united states, we want to help you manage this change so let’s stay connected.