SWK Technologies is providing a customization of the Acumatica Surveys module that will help you to better enable compliance with the OSHA vaccine mandate announced November 5, 2021. The Vaccination and Testing ETS (emergency temporary standard) obligates employers with over 100 employees working in indoor settings to collect and maintain records of the vaccination status of their personnel, as well as conduct weekly testing for those that are unvaccinated. SWK’s custom plugin leverages resources built by the Acumatica user community along with our own inhouse development knowledge to create a simple, efficient workflow for fulfilling this regulation.
Here are the key factors you need to know about the Acumatica Surveys customization and how it helps you comply with the vaccine mandate:
The SWK Acumatica Customization for Vaccine Mandate Compliance
SWK can take the existing functionality of the Acumatica Surveys plugin and customize it according to your regulatory needs, replacing the prebuilt information with the items you need to track compliance for the OSHA vaccine mandate. Our Acumatica team can also help you build out the module to better match your internal processes, creating a seamless integration with your current workflows that mitigates the level of interruption needed to pivot for this new regulation.
How This Works
Acumatica Surveys is accessible through the Acumatica mobile app, making it easy to deploy in the field without an excess of manual effort, as well as for users to enter information quickly. Role-based permissions allow authorized users to securely control the creation and modification of each field (“questions” and their attached “answer”) on the backend, enabling managers to scale the database as needed to accommodate as many tabs as possible.
Surveys also allows you to send notifications to users via email, SMS or even push notifications on their mobile app that are generated from admin-defined conditions. These can include alerts if a subject’s fields meet certain criteria, like a positive COVID-19 result.
What is the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the Vaccination and Testing ETS (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) to mitigate occupational exposure and transmission of COVID-19 among large employers. Conservative estimates by OSHA predict 6500 deaths and 250,000 hospitalizations prevented if guidelines are enforced. The compliance deadline as of now is January 4, 2022.
If you are looking for more background information or a specific requirement, read the entire documentation here.
DISCLAIMER: On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA’s COVID-19 ETS. As of this writing, the Administration has ceased all steps to implement or enforce the mandate “until further court order” per the stay motion, although OSHA filed its own emergency motion to resume the ETS on November 23, 2021.
Contractors & Healthcare Workers Mandates
It is important to note for federal contractors and healthcare workers that both groups are still beholden to their own emergency temporary standards, and that each respective ETS supersedes the November 5 vaccine mandate. One piece of good news for the former is that the compliance deadline for that directive has been moved to January 4, 2022 as well to better coordinate with the more recent regulation.
Other contracting firms and their partners should also make note that contractors and subcontractors are not inherently included in a 100-employee headcount under the ETS, which means some businesses may not be covered. However, it is allowed for a company contracting another firm to require their employees to be included in COVID-19 vaccine tracking and testing as part of their own compliance or general employee wellness tracking programs. Fortunately, Acumatica already has several tools that support internal initiatives for building your safety projects that you can leverage to help identify infection cases early.
Multi-Entity, Franchises, Agencies, Etc.
There are several other categories that may be exempt from the ETS under general or certain circumstances, including affiliates, staffing agencies and franchises. The common factor is liability, meaning that typically those who are directly liable for the employment and well-being of 100 employees are covered, while specific divisions of liability remove that coverage. E.g., a company that hires multiple contractors for a construction project is not necessarily covered by the ETS if their own headcount does not hit 100, but a subcontractor with 100 temp employees would be.
Vaccine Mandate Tracking Requirements
The OSHA Vaccination and Testing ETS mandates 4 primary requirements:
- Employers will track employee COVID-19 vaccination records
- Employers will facilitate weekly testing for unvaccinated employees
- Employers will enforce face covering for unvaccinated employees
- Employers will promptly remove employees diagnosed with COVID-19 from the job site
You can download OSHA’s template for a mandatory vaccination policy by clicking here.
You can also download OSHA’s template for vaccination or testing and face covering policies by clicking here.
Vaccination Tracking & Reporting
While employers have some leeway to customize how they collect the required information for vaccination tracking, there are several essential activities that must be completed to be in compliance. These include:
- Document proof of vaccination status for employee, including a Vaccination Record Card or other documentation (medical records, etc.)
- Record vaccination status of employee, including if partial dosage or no vaccination received
- Record vaccine type (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) by employee and which dosage received at time of recording
- Update vaccination status if and when second dosage is received*
- Record whether employee has a medical or religious accommodation preventing receipt of vaccine**
- Maintain record of employee vaccination status by roster
- Treat roster of employee vaccination statuses as medical records protected under 29 CFR 1910.1020
*Booster shots are not required to be tracked for the ETS as of the time of this writing
**There are no official exemptions allowed for vaccinations; however, temporary accommodations are allowed for approved religious or medical reasons, but these employees must still be subject to weekly testing
Test Tracking & Requirements
If an employee is unvaccinated (including if they declare they do intend to receive the vaccine), then they must be subject to testing at least every 7 days, including if they are returning to the workplace after having not been present. Only Diagnostic testing is applicable, which means Antibody testing does not count. For each test, date, type, result, who administered the test and who read the result must be recorded.
Face Covering Enforcement
Unvaccinated employees, as well as those who are not fully vaccinated yet, must wear an acceptable face covering if working indoors or an enclosed vehicle with another employee. “Acceptable” coverings have to meet 5 guidelines:
- Covers nose and mouth
- Two or more layers
- Secured with ties, loops, etc.
- Fits over nose, mouth, and chin with no gaps
- Has no slits, valves, holes, or other openings
Positive Test & Incident Reporting
If an employee tests positive during in-house testing, or provides a diagnosis given by a healthcare professional, then the employer must give prompt notice to OSHA and quickly remove the employee from the premises if they are onsite. Either action must be taken regardless of employee’s vaccination status on record. Employers are allowed to apply existing sick leave protocols to this procedure but must always keep employees informed on the exact processes for giving notification.
Penalties for Not Tracking or False Reporting
Companies who fail to follow the guidelines of the ETS will receive a citation with a fine of up to $13,653. However, if OSHA determines the violation was “willful,” this will increase up to 10 times for a total fine of $136,532*.
*This number may be subject to increases in planned future legislation
See How SWK Can Customize Acumatica for the Vaccine Mandate
As a top Acumatica partner and support resource, SWK Technologies is here to help you adapt your ERP for your mission-critical needs and ensure your software returns the best value. Reach out to us ASAP to get in contact with our Acumatica experts and discover how your solution can empower you to meet compliance with this regulation before it’s too late.
Contact us here to see a demo of our Acumatica Surveys customization in action, or to see what other tailored solutions we can offer you.
Talk to our Acumatica team ASAP