The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on June 30, 2022, that it is extending its Revised National Emphasis Program for COVID-19 (NEP) until further notice. This occurs as OSHA continues to work on a permanent COVID healthcare standard.
Originally launched in March 2021, the NEP focuses enforcement efforts on companies that put the largest number of workers at "serious risk" of COVID infection. It also addresses employers who retaliate against workers who complain about unsafe or unhealthful conditions in the workplace.
OSHA also announced it is increasing its COVID-related inspection goal from five to 10 percent of total inspections. Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's reporting on increased national COVID hospitalization rates since April 2022, OSHA is prioritizing inspections at workplaces with higher exposure potential. These include hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, other healthcare and emergency response facilities and meat and poultry processing plants.
Since the onset of the pandemic in February 2020, OSHA has issued over 1,200 COVID-related citations and assessed penalties totaling US$7.2 million. OSHA has also pursued employers for claims of retaliation by over 400 workers who raised concerns about COVID, resulting in over US$5 million in monetary awards to the employees.
EU Taxonomy Regulation and aviation: A transition to sustainability
On 5 April 2023 the long-awaited draft amendment to Delegated Act EU 2021/2139 including draft technical screening criteria in Annex 1 (the Draft Delegated Act) was published by the European Commission heralding the inclusion of aviation as a transitional activity within the EU Taxonomy Regulation. Following consultation, the draft was then updated on 13 June 2023 and published as part of the European Commission’s sustainable finance framework.
Future policy framework for Power CCUS: Government Response
In July 2022, the government published its call for evidence on the future policy framework for the delivery of power with Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) (Call for Evidence), seeking views on how best to support the continued deployment of power CCUS projects beyond Track-1 of its Cluster Sequencing process.