Last week, Cal/OSHA updated its website, providing additional guidance on how to protect Californian employee from spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Additionally, earlier this week, Division Chief Doug Parker sent an unpublished letter, clarifying Cal/OSHA’s recording/reporting requirements for coronavirus-related illnesses. Below is a summary of both pieces of guidance from Cal/OSHA:
Additional Cal/OSHA Guidance on COVID-19 in the Workplace
Starting with the new guidance on its website, Cal/OSHA provided additional information on how to protect workers from COVID-19. While Cal/OSHA previously issued guidance on requirements under its Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (“ATD”) standard specific to COVID-19, as well as general guidelines, it has now released industry-specific guidance and ATD model plans. The industry-specific guidance includes:
- COVID-19 infection prevention for agricultural employers and employees;
- COVID-19 infection prevention in childcare programs; and
- Interim guidance for protecting workers at skilled nursing and long-term care facilities from exposure to coronavirus disease.
The ATD model plans are fillable pages provided in Word format and include an exposure control plan, laboratory biosafety plan, and “referring employer” model written program.
As general guidance, Cal/OSHA’s website also includes interim guidelines for general industry on COVID-19. These interim guidelines make clear that, for employers covered by the ATD standard, employers must protect employees from airborne infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and pathogens transmitted by aerosols. The ATD standard applies to:
- hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, medical offices, outpatient medical facilities, home health care, long-term health care facilities, hospices, medical outreach services, medical transport and emergency medical services;
- certain laboratories, public health services and police services that are reasonably anticipated to expose employees to an aerosol transmissible disease;
- correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and drug treatment programs; and
- any other locations when Cal/OSHA informs employers in writing that they must comply with the ATD standard.
Additionally, for employers NOT covered by the ATD standard, Cal/OSHA advises employers to Continue reading