California Occupational Safety Board Votes to Adopt COVID Prevention Regulations



The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has adopted COVID-19 prevention non-emergency regulations.

The COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards will continue to remain in effect while the Office of Administrative Law reviews the proposed Non-Emergency COVID-19 prevention regulations. OAL has 30 working days to complete its review. If approved by OAL, the new regulations will remain in effect for two years.

Notable provisions include:

  • Employers are legally obligated to provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace for employees, including by taking measures to prevent COVID-19 exposure. Employers must maintain an effective written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) that addresses COVID-19 as a workplace hazard and includes measures to prevent workplace transmission, employee training, and methods for responding to COVID-19 cases at the workplace.
  • Employers must make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during paid time to employees following a close contact, except for returned cases.
  • For all indoor locations regardless of size, employers must review applicable CDPH guidance and implement effective measures to prevent transmission through improved filtration and/or ventilation.

Close contact is defined by the size of the workplace:

  • For indoor spaces of 400,000 or fewer cubic feet per floor, a close contact is defined as sharing the same indoor airspace as a COVID case for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the COVID case’s infectious period.
  • For indoor spaces of greater than 400,000 cubic feet per floor, a close contact is defined as being within six feet of the COVID case for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the COVID case’s infectious period.
  • Offices, suites, rooms, waiting areas, break or eating areas, bathrooms, or other spaces that are separated by floor-to-ceiling walls shall be considered distinct indoor spaces.
  • Infectious Period Definition: The regulations use the definition of “infectious period” found in the most recent California Department of Public Health State Public Health Officer Order.

Cal/OSHA is updating its resources to assist employers with understanding their obligations required by the COVID-19 prevention regulations. The COVID-19 prevention resources webpage contains an executive summary that describes the regulations. When the new regulation becomes effective, Cal/OSHA will publish an updated set of FAQs and model program.

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB), a seven-member body appointed by the governor, is the standards-setting agency within the Cal/OSHA program. Cal/OSHA is a division within the Department of Industrial Relations.

Topics
California
Legislation
COVID-19

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