California OAL Emergency Regulation: COVID-19 Prevention
On November 30, 2020, California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved an emergency temporary standard (ETS) for COVID-19 prevention under the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, to be effective immediately (Ca.gov, 2020).
To whom does it apply?
The COVID-19 ETS applies to all employees, employers, and places of employment, with exceptions for employees who:
- Work from home,
- Do not come in contact with others, or
- Who are covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases regulation (section 5199).
What does the ETS require?
Employers must “establish, implement, and maintain an effective, written COVID-19 Prevention Program” as a standalone document or ensure its elements are included in an existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) (Ca.gov, 2020). The ETS requires employers to include and implement the following major provisions in the program:
- System for Communicating
- Identification and Evaluation of COVID-19 Hazards
- Investigating and Responding to COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace
- Correction of COVID-19 Hazards
- Training and Instruction
- Physical Distancing
- Face Coverings
- Other Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls, and Personal Protective Equipment
- Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Access
- Exclusion of COVID-19 Cases
- Return to Work Criteria
In addition to these requirements, the ETS also outlines protocols for multiple COVID-19 infections and outbreaks in the workplace and major COVID-19 outbreaks, and COVID-19 prevention strategies for employer-provided housing and employer-provided transportation to and from work.
The following links are to Cal/OSHA resources, including a news release, FAQs, a fact sheet, an example COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP), and the CPP Standard.
- Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations to Protect Workers from COVID-19 in Effect, December 1, 2020: https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2020/2020-99.html
- Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Frequently Asked Questions, December 2020: https://dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/COVID19FAQs.html
- Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards – What Employers Need to Know, dated November 30, 2020: https://dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/COVIDOnePageFS.pdf
- Cal/OSHA Model COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP), including example forms for Identification of COVID-19 Hazards (Appendix A); COVID-19 Inspections (Appendix B), Investigating COVID-19 Case (Appendix C); and COVID-19 Training Roster (Appendix D): https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/CPP.doc
- Cal/OSHA Standards Presentation to California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board: https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/COVID-19-Prevention-Emergency-apprvdtxt.pdf
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