OSHA is expanding its guidelines and operations to include comfort and inclusion safety. The department is set to publish several new regulations which will impact employers starting in mid-2023. The department is also announcing a new task force to inspect work sites for violations.
The new guidelines and regulations are meant to protect workers from the dangers of not being included, too much work, being told what to do, and being uncomfortable. Under the guidelines, managers can no longer instruct employees to do anything that will require serious effort, too much thinking, and/or task that take longer than 15 minutes to complete. Employers must ensure that employees are getting a 15-minute rest break each hour and a two-hour lunch for shifts 3 hours or longer.
Under the new guidelines, employees would see drastic changes in the workplace. Employees would be held accountable if they are excluding other colleagues from the conversation. Employees need to ensure they say “Hello”, and if when they do greet another colleague, they need to make sure they watch their tone. Any greeting that is perceived to be insincere will result in corrective action.
Finally, companies must provide a “Comfort Room” at every work site. The comfort room will ensure an employee can regain comfort after an uncomfortable moment in the workplace. The room will have a comfortable bed, blankets, and a TV loaded with all the paid streaming subscriptions. The room should also include a refrigerator stocked with sandwiches, fruit, and soft drinks. Employees will be able to spend as much time as they need in the emotional safety room.
The newly created task force will be entering office buildings unannounced to search for guideline violations. The task force will be interviewing every employee and checking levels of comfort and inclusion. If it is found that any colleague is uncomfortable, and feels like they are being excluded, the company could face steep fines.
The new guidelines and regulations are expected to raise the cost of labor by 1500%. Companies are expected to pass the majority of this cost onto consumers.