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Updates to Cal-OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards Pending Approval

On June 3, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board readopted Cal/OSHA’s revised COVID-19 prevention Emergency Temporary Standards. If these new standards are approved by the Office of Administrative Law in the next 10 calendar days, they are expected to take effect on June 15, 2021.

The standards apply to virtually all employers, with some exceptions. The most notable revisions employers will need to know include:

  • COVID-19 Prevention Policies: Employers are still required to have and maintain a written COVID-19 Prevention Program with two key changes to the requirements:
  • Employers must review the California Department of Public Health’s Interim Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments on practical steps they can take to promote better ventilation, filtration, and air quality in their indoor office spaces.
  • Employer’s COVID-19 prevention training must now include information stating that the vaccine is effective at preventing COVID-19 and protecting against both transmission and serious illness or death.
  • Physical Distancing/Barriers: Employers will be able to eliminate physical distancing and partitions/barriers for employees working indoors if they provide respirators, such as N95 masks, to unvaccinated employees for voluntary use. After July 31, physical distancing and barriers will no longer be required (except during outbreaks); however, employers must provide all unvaccinated employees with N95s.
  • Face Coverings: Fully vaccinated employees without COVID-19 symptoms do not need to wear face coverings in a “room” if everyone else is fully vaccinated and not showing symptoms. However, employers must require all employees, regardless of vaccination status, to continue wearing face coverings indoors.
  • Exclusions from Workplace: Employers are no longer required to exclude employees who experienced a close contact if they are fully vaccinated and do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

It is very important for employers to continue to update and ensure compliance with their Covid-19 policies and protocols to ensure their employees stay healthy. To learn more about the new ETS guidelines and how it affects your business, and/or to ensure your Covid-19 protocols are Cal/OSHA compliant, contact the Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt.

This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500. (photo credit: 123rf.com)


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