Vigilant Blog

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Feb 02, 2023

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 temporary worker housing rules evolve

COVID-19Safety and Health 

On January 14, 2023, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I)’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency rules that had been in place for temporary worker housing (TWH) in the agriculture industry expired and were not renewed. While this means that the remaining emergency restrictions have been lifted, agricultural employers providing TWH must continue taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among housed workers:

  • Assess TWH for COVID-19 hazards and take steps to prevent worker exposures.
  • Separate workers who have tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19 into alternate housing and keep them out of the workplace per current L&I guidance (see “What Employers Need to do when an Employee Gets COVID-19”).
  • Comply with Washington’s Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) requirements for reporting COVID-19 cases and notifying workers of potential exposures.

L&I is working with the Washington Department of Health to develop permanent rules protecting workers in TWH from outbreaks of airborne infectious diseases such as COVID-19. More information can be found on the TWH Rulemaking Activity and Rulemaking Stakeholder Information pages.

Tips: Access our Legal Guide, At a Glance: COVID-19 Compliance in Washington for up-to-date information about COVID-19 requirements, and be sure to connect with your Vigilant safety professional if you have questions about the TWH rules.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.