New Cal-OSHA Regulations Mandated – Effective Immediately
As of Monday, California employers are required to comply with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL)-approved Cal-OSHA emergency Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) safety regulations. There are a number of critical mandates that must be reviewed, understood and adhered to, including:
- Employers must maintain a written COVID-19 training program and a written COVID-19 prevention program with detailed requirements, which can be incorporated into the employer’s existing IIPP.
- Employers that have been identified by a local health department as the location of a COVID-19 outbreak or had three or more COVID-19 cases reported in their workplace within a 14-day period must provide no-cost testing to exposed employees, exclude infected employees from the workplace, investigate and determine workplace-related factors contributing to the infections, review policies and implement changes to prevent further workplace spread and notify the local health department.
- If an employee is excluded from work for 14 days to quarantine due to possible COVID exposure and is otherwise able and available to work, the employer must continue to provide the employee’s pay and benefits. This does not apply if the employer establishes the employee’s exposure was not work-related.
Cal-OSHA seemed to at least acknowledge the challenges employers will face immediately complying with all the provisions. Although pointing out that much of this has already been required under employers’ Injury and Illness Prevention Program (face coverings and physical distancing), they do point out that “good faith efforts in working towards compliance” will be taken into consideration
All CA employers should familiarize themselves with the new regulations and FAQs which can be found here:
COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Frequently Asked Questions (ca.gov)