WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued clarification Wednesday regarding the trucking industry and the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for American workers, saying that there is “no specific exemption from the standard’s requirements for truck drivers.”
However, OSHA also stated that “even where the standard applies to a particular employer, its requirements do not apply to employees ‘who do not report to a workplace where other individuals, such as coworkers or customers, are present’ or employees ‘who work exclusively outdoors.’”
Therefore, OSHA wrote, “the requirements of the ETS (Emergency Temporary Standard) do not apply to truck drivers who do not occupy vehicles with other individuals as part of their work duties.”
Truckers who are alone in their cabs will also need to ensure that they have minimal contact with others at pickup and drop-off sites. OSHA describes minimal contact as use of restroom facilities or dropping off paperwork.
OSHA said that the ETS requirements do apply to truck drivers who work in teams (e.g., two people in a truck cab) or who must routinely enter buildings where other people are present.
The mandate for companies employing 100 or more to require vaccines for workers went into effect on Monday. The mandate requires vaccines or regular tests and effective masking. If companies don’t comply, they can face hefty fines beginning later this year.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments on whether the vaccine mandate is legal. Several stakeholders in the trucking industry are part of that challenge.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.