By Conn Maciel Carey’s COVID-19 Task Force
Over four months after the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Board”) unanimously adopted a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”), the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (the “Division”) has been busy considering potential changes to the emergency regulation. When the ETS was first adopted, the regulated community scrambled to understand and implement the regulation. The Division issued numerous Frequently Asked Questions in January, February and March, but many questions remained unanswered.
In February, the Division convened an Advisory Committee to provide input on possible changes to the ETS. The Advisory Committee consisted of members from business and industry, labor and community groups, public agencies, and the health sciences. A coalition of California employers organized by Conn Maciel Carey – the California Employer COVID-19 Prevention Coalition (the “Coalition”) – was one of a very small group of industry representatives invited to participate on the Advisory Committee.
Ahead of the Advisory Committee meetings, which were held on February 11, 12 and 16, Cal/OSHA circulated Discussion Drafts reflecting changes to be considered during the meetings. Over the course of the 3-day Advisory Committee meeting, the Coalition had the opportunity to provide meaningful input on it members’ concerns and recommendations to improve the ETS.