SACRAMENTO — Last night the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted unanimously to withdraw the revisions to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards that they had voted to approve on June 3, and that were sent to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review. In the meantime, the regulations adopted in the November 2020 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) will remain in effect as the standard for workplaces. 

The Board directed Cal/OSHA to review the new mask guidance and bring any recommended revisions to the board. The Board could consider new revisions or remove the ETS altogether at a future meeting; possibly as early as the regular meeting on June 17. 

The vote was held during a special meeting on June 9 to consider the latest guidance regarding masking from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The meeting, attended by members of the public including workers, industry leaders, employers and other stakeholders shared their views on the matter in more than two and a half hours of public comment.  

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, a seven-member body appointed by the Governor, is the standards-setting agency within the Cal/OSHA program. The Standards Board’s objective is to adopt reasonable and enforceable standards at least as effective as federal standards. The Standards Board also has the responsibility to grant or deny applications for permanent variances from adopted standards and respond to petitions for new or revised standards.