The ongoing global health crisis has led governments worldwide to encourage tracking COVID-19 tests and vaccinations across various industries. In the United States, the Biden administration announced an updated Employer COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate on September 9th to remind organizations about their role in beating the virus. Naturally, there will be penalties for non-compliance.
Whether your organization plans to work in the office or remotely, it’s best to comply with rules regarding the pandemic. After all, the government developed them for the safety of the workplace. This article will discuss the mandates designed to beat the virus and how software like VAIRKKO’s certification and training management software can keep you compliant.
Rules on Tracking COVID-19 Vaccinations
In an action plan called Path Out of the Pandemic, the U.S. government details the rules for various industries. Below are some of the key takeaways.
Federal Workers and Contractors
President Joe Biden signed two executive orders requiring federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This ruling covers all employees working on or with federal government contracts and subcontracts, with few exceptions.
Companies With Over 100 Employees
The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) will develop a rule for businesses with at least 100 employees that requires two things. First, the workforce should be fully vaccinated. Also, workers who remain unvaccinated should produce weekly negative test results. As per the White House’s request, OSHA will issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to enforce this rule.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will require healthcare workers that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to observe vaccination and testing rules. The organization will release it as an Interim Final Rule.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions our clients often ask.
What are the Deadlines To Remember?
On November 5, 2021, the ETS took effect, as published in the Federal Register. After the said date, states with OSHA-approved plans have 15 days to notify the agency how consumers want to comply with the rules.
Additionally, employees should be fully vaccinated or start weekly COVID-19 testing by January 4, 2022.
What Is the Penalty for Non-Compliance?
OSHA may fine an employer up to $13,365 for every case of non-compliance. However, it can fine organizations that repeatedly violate such standards by up to $136,532. Should the government enact the Build Back Better Act, the maximum fine could reach $700,000.
Is There a Comment Period for the ETS?
Yes, OSHA has implemented a 30-day public comment period for the ETS. The organization sought comments about the rule and is currently asking for public input on these topics:
- Small companies with fewer than 100 employees
- Workplace risks
- COVID-19 vaccination policies
Human Resources Department Challenges
Now that the government has approved the ETS requiring workers to get vaccines or submit weekly COVID-19 tests, the bulk of the work will fall on the human resources (HR) department. Let’s look at some of the concerns this team may experience during our transition into the new normal.
Recent U.S. vaccination statistics reveal that 72% of American adults received vaccines. However, this figure still equates to tracking COVID-19 vaccinations for 28% of your workforce. It may seem bearable to track test results weekly for 28 workers, but can you imagine doing it for a company of 1,000 people?
If done manually, complying with the ETS will take up too much time. HR heads should aim to complete such weekly tasks as quickly as possible so they can focus on other high-value activities.
A Seamless Process
Next, HR heads should develop a seamless process even in today’s remote environment. They should find ways to access and verify the information employees submit for compliance and still ensure every individual’s privacy.
Simplify Tedious Tasks
Instead of repeating processes weekly for unvaccinated employees, HR teams must learn to use technology to their advantage. Simplifying tedious tasks relating to tracking COVID-19 tests not only helps them as a team but also benefits their whole organization.
There is a way to address time constraints, develop a seamless process, and simplify tedious tasks. To achieve such a feat, we recommend using cloud solutions.
These solutions refer to internet-based servers located in data centers throughout the world. With cloud computing services, firms don’t have to manage physical servers or software. Below are some of the reasons why you should consider using such services.
Enjoy Massive Savings
While switching to cloud computing services may require higher upfront costs, we recommend looking into other key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, uploading employee files on the cloud enables easy and controlled access. No matter where they are, they can conveniently submit office requirements.
Additionally, cloud-based solutions prevent you from getting penalties. As mentioned earlier, such fees can reach up to $700,000.
Remember that COVID-19 tests contain sensitive information about your officemates, including names, addresses, and a potentially positive result. For this reason, we recommend using cloud services to support your tracking efforts.
Contrary to popular belief, using a cloud server is not nearly as expensive as people think because it offers maximum flexibility. Most of the time, you can customize your package to address your specific needs.
In today’s modern world, especially during the pandemic, there has been a shift in the workforce’s demand for flexibility in work locations. Employees nowadays want to work in different settings, from coworking spaces to coffee shops to their homes once in a while. Through the cloud, you can empower remote workers and freelancers. You can allow them to access and share information from anywhere they wish to work.
Using the cloud is ideal for reporting purposes. Not only can you generate data in a heartbeat, but you can also assign access levels to different department heads regarding COVID-19 testings and vaccinations. This feature is helpful in many other business functions.
The VAIRKKO Certification Cloud
While cloud solutions can help you comply with the latest ETS, remember that you should find the ideal software to address your specific needs. For your COVID-19 tracking and vaccination efforts, we recommend the VAIRKKO Certification Cloud.
The VAIRKKO Certification Cloud is a training management software with all the features you need for your tracking and training requirements. Today, we serve 38 industries in 60 global regions. Additionally, we boast a 98% client retention rate — a remarkable achievement in any industry.
Our software is a web-based, fully-mobile solution that lets all team members collaborate from anywhere they are. With VAIRKKO, tracking COVID-19 vaccinations and tests has never been easier. Below are some of the features that make our software stand out in the market.
It’s time to say goodbye to countless picture tabs on your screen. Finally, you can prepare your dashboard for the results of weekly COVID-19 tests with just a few clicks. With VAIRKKO, you can quickly access accurate information right at your fingertips and allow the top management to do the same. However, you can manage restrictions for each department head if necessary.
VAIRKKO’s automated notification system can help you make sure your company never misses a compliance deadline. You can set alerts for supervisors, select managers, custom groups, and other individuals involved in the ETS ruling. You can also customize notification frequencies and reminders as often as necessary.
VAIRKKO offers top-tier compliance management solutions that you can use to determine which employees are compliant or not. Before the vaccination tracking requirements, we used such tools to manage training. However, our technology works effectively for both functions. Within seconds, you can create rules to help the software determine whether someone is compliant or not. You can also create reminders about the next steps employees should take to address personal requirements.
With the ETS in place, you will likely have to keep at least 28 documents per week for additional compliance purposes — or 1,456 per week. With a cloud solution, you can access all the necessary files from wherever you are. You won’t ever have to sort through thousands of pages just to look for a file containing a positive COVID-19 result.
Built-In Digital Signature Tool
One of the most challenging tasks in working remotely is getting everybody in one place at any time. When you need everyone’s signature, the whole process could take a few hours, at best. However, with our integrated digital tool, all you have to do is upload your document, create a signature field, and send it to all the parties involved. We make it difficult for you to miss compliance deadlines.
QR Code Integration
Our platform allows you to scan an employee’s QR code before an audit or during an evaluation. This feature lets you check if a team member missed any of OSHA’s required weekly COVID-19 tests. You can choose a view that lets you see an employee’s history with the company.
One of the most notable advantages of using our software is the high level of customization during the reporting process. For instance, you can check how many employees have tested positive for COVID-19 more than once or how many don’t always comply with the weekly testing.
Guarantee Your Compliance
With OSHA’s new ETS in place, compliance can be a challenging endeavor for HR professionals. The required weekly testing can take a toll on your staff and resources. However, having the right tools on your side can make the journey toward beating the pandemic a seamless one.
At VAIRKKO, we’ve always aimed to empower teams with high-performance operations management software. We’ve been fulfilling that promise since we opened our doors in 2009.
No matter what compliance requirement regulating bodies throw at you, remember that technology can be a viable partner. Request a demo now to guarantee your compliance.