CAL/OSHA COVID-19 EMERGENCY TEMPORARY STANDARDS

Have You Completed Your COVID-19 Prevention Program Yet?

Overview Document:

California approved emergency temporary Cal/OSHA standards on COVID-19 infection prevention on November 30, 2020. These new temporary standards apply to most workers in California not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.

Requirements for employers covered by the COVID-19 Prevention standard

  • Establish, implement, and maintain an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program that includes:
    • Identifying and evaluating employee exposures to COVID-19 health hazards.
    • Implementing effective policies and procedures to correct unsafe and unhealthy conditions (such as safe physical distancing, modifying the workplace and staggering work schedules).
    • Providing and ensuring workers wear face coverings to prevent exposure in the workplace.
  • Provide effective training and instruction to employees on how COVID-19 is spread, infection prevention techniques, and information regarding COVID-19-related benefits that affected employees may be entitled to under applicable federal, state, or local laws.

When there are multiple COVID-19 infections and COVID-19 outbreaks.

Employers must follow the requirements for testing and notifying public health departments of workplace outbreaks (three or more cases in a workplace in a 14-day period) and major outbreaks (20 or more cases within a 30-day period).

  • COVID-19 testing for employees who might have been exposed

Requires employers to offer COVID-19 testing at no cost to their employees during their working hours who had potential COVID-19 exposure in the workplace and provide them with the information on benefits.

  • Notification requirements to the local health department

A new requirement that obligates employers to contact the local health department immediately but no longer than 48 hours after learning of three or more COVID-19 cases to obtain guidance on preventing the further spread of COVID-19 within their workplace.

Recordkeeping and reporting COVID-19 cases.

Employers must maintain a record of and track all COVID-19 cases, while ensuring medical information remains confidential. These records must be made available to employees, authorized employee representatives, or as otherwise required by law, with personal identifying information removed. When a COVID-19-related serious illness (e.g., COVID-19 illness requiring inpatient hospitalization) or death occurs, the employer must report this immediately to the nearest Cal/OSHA enforcement district office.