By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA

Requiring the federal government to impose a single, emergency standard for coping with COVID-19 is misguided because workers are better protected from the virus by construction industry best practices rather than a rigid “one-size-fits-all” regulation. That’s the central message of a May 29 amicus brief ARTBA and industry allies filed in federal court.

The groups are asking the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to stop the request by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which is suing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to force implementation of a universal safety standard. Specifically, the unions want OSHA to implement within 30 days a universal “emergency temporary standard” for infectious diseases which would cover all employees and all industries.

Such uniform standard are misguided, ARTBA and the other industry groups say in the brief, explaining that “guidance on how to maintain the spread of COVID-19 in the aviation industry would naturally be quite different from guidance directed at the banking industry, or the construction industry.”

The brief continues: “Given the vast range of industries operating in the United States, the best approach for OSHA to effectively provide logical and valuable guidance would be to issue specific guidance tailored to each industry or, at the very least, each natural grouping of industries.”

Read the full brief.