COVID-19 Emergency Regulations For Employers Take Effect
State regulators have approved new rules outlining the steps employers must take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at work. Specifically, on November 30th, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) offer their approval of the 21-page emergency regulation containing new statewide standards for employers regarding COVID-19 training, testing, hazard assessment/mitigation, reporting, among other rules.
“These are strong but achievable standards to protect workers. They also clarify what employers have to do to prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19 and stop outbreaks,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Doug Parker
As emergency standards, these regulations become effective immediately. In terms of enforcement, the following statement was noted in a Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) press release: “For employers who need time to fully implement the regulations, enforcement investigators will take their good faith efforts to implement the emergency standards into consideration. However, aspects such as eliminating hazards and implementing testing requirements during an outbreak are essential.”
Also notable, Cal/OSHA has posted FAQs and a one-page fact sheet on the regulation, as well as a model COVID-19 prevention program.
In terms of next steps, Cal/OSHA announced they will convene a stakeholder meeting in December, where it is anticipated that members of the broader business community may push for revisions to the emergency regulation.
For more information, please see https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2020/2020-99.html.