The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) adopted a second emergency amendment to state workplace safety laws that requires employers to report positive COVID-19 cases among employees to NMED within four hours of being notified of the case. This second emergency amendment is necessary as the original emergency amendment expired before a permanent amendment was put in place.
The second emergency amendment went into effect yesterday and will remain in effect for no more than 120 days unless NMED proposes and the Environmental Improvement Board adopts a permanent rule prior to the end of the 120-day period. In conjunction with the emergency amendment, NMED is engaging in the formal rulemaking process to permanently put in place the reporting requirement.
The Environmental Improvement Board’s virtual public hearing on the proposed permanent amendment will be at 9 a.m. Dec. 18. The public is encouraged to participate, and details on the meeting are below.
Meeting link: https://nmed-oit.webex.com/nmed-oit/j.php?MTID=mae8a7ecbe62daeedb9e755ac4ef09166
Access code: 133 444 1276
Meeting password: ZjsZPmdT358
Phone access: 1-415-655-0001
Phone access code: 133 444 1276
NMED’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) has been at the forefront of workplace COVID-19 response, conducting around 9,000 rapid responses and helping thousands of businesses to reopen safely and quickly following positive cases among employees. The 4-hour reporting requirement implemented in August greatly decreased the response time of the OHSB Rapid Response team, allowing them to quickly act to ensure workplace safety by providing immediate guidance and support to employers.
Violations of the reporting requirement may result in NMED enforcement action.