SACRAMENTO — The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) adopted changes to California’s COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) during their June 17th meeting. Governor Newsom will be issuing an Executive Order directing these changes to go into effect immediately.
Cal/OSHA has released FAQs for the newly adopted changes that include guidance on What is Changing, Physical Distancing, Respirators, Face Coverings, Vaccines, Testing, and Outbreaks. Cal/OSHA will continue to update the FAQs and will provide a training video on respirator use. The FAQs can be found HERE.
What are the important Changes?
- Fully vaccinated employees without symptoms do not need to be tested or quarantined after close contacts with COVID-19 cases.
- No face covering requirements outdoors (except during outbreaks), regardless of vaccination status, though workers should be trained on CDPH recommendations for outdoor use of face coverings.
- Employers may allow fully vaccinated employees not to wear face coverings indoors, but must document their vaccination status. There are some settings where CDPH requires face coverings regardless of vaccination status. In outbreaks, all employees must wear face coverings indoors and outdoors when six-feet physical distancing cannot be maintained, regardless of vaccination status.
- Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with approved respirators for voluntary use when working indoors or in a vehicle with others, upon request.
- Employers may not retaliate against employees from wearing face coverings.
- No physical distancing or barrier requirements regardless of employee vaccination status with the following exceptions:
- Employers must evaluate whether it is necessary to implement physical distancing and barriers during an outbreak (3 or more cases in an exposed group of employees)
- Employers must implement physical distancing and barriers during a major outbreak (20 or more cases in an exposed group of employees)
- No physical distancing requirements whatsoever in the employer-provided housing and transportation regulations.
- Where all employees are vaccinated in employer-provided housing and transportation, employers are exempt from those regulations
- Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtrations efficiency, and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems
Are there requirements from the November 2020 ETS that will remain in place?
- An effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program.
- Providing effective training and instruction to employees on the employer’s prevention plan and their rights under the ETS.
- Providing notification to public health departments of outbreaks.
- Providing notification to employees of exposure and close contacts.
- Requirements to offer testing after potential exposures.
- Requirements for responding to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks.
- Quarantine and exclusion pay requirements.
- Basic prevention requirements for employer-provided housing and transportation.
The full FAQs can be found HERE.