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Cal/OSHA Emergency Workplace COVID-19 Regulation: What It Really Means

In November 2020, The California Occupational Health and Safety Standards Board issued Emergency Workplace COVID-19 Safety Regulations that apply to all employees and their places of employment in California. These Cal OSHA requirements are extensive and require several new mandates to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be compliant with the new Cal OSHA Emergency Workplace COVID-19 regulations, you may need to update some of your workplace practices. We’ll explain everything you need to know about complying with these new California OSHA guidelines so that your business can remain open.

Are Any Businesses Exempt from the New Cal/OSHA Emergency Workplace COVID-19 Regulation Requirements?

A few types of businesses do not need to comply with the new Cal OSHA requirements. California employees and employers that are exempt from the new OSHA guideline:

  • Businesses with only one employee who do not have physical contact with other people
  • Employees working from home
  • Employees that are covered by Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations Section 5199 (Examples of these organizations are health care facilities, hazardous substance facilities, police, and public health services.)

If your business is not exempt from the new California OSHA requirements, you'll need to do several things to be compliant with the regulations.

Related Link: What Does It Mean to be OSHA Compliant (During COVID-19)?

New Mandates for Businesses that Need to Comply with the California Code of Regulations

Some of these new Cal OSHA Emergency Workplace COVID-19 regulations may or may not apply to your business depending on COVID-19 exposure and other situations. The following mandates include:

All Businesses Must Provide a Written COVID-19 Training Program

This mandate is an amendment to Section 3205 that now requires employers to:

Create and maintain a written COVID-19 prevention program. 

The program needs to articulate all the detailed requirements. This new written COVID-19 prevention program can be included in your existing Illness and Injury Prevention Program.

Do you need help implementing these new California OSHA COVID-19 safety regulationsContact Arrow Up to learn more about our comprehensive online training for OSHA-required COVID-19 safety.

Related Link: How to Properly Train and Keep Employees Safe During COVID-19

Cal OSHA guidelines will require COVID-19 testing if several infections happen at your business.

If Your Business Has a Minor COVID-19 Outbreak

The new emergency mandate of Section 3205.1 explains what to do if you have multiple COVID-19 infections or an outbreak of Coronavirus in the workplace.

If the local health department identifies your workplace as an outbreak, which is three or more COVID-19 cases in your workplace within fourteen days, your business must follow these rules:

  • The employer must pay for and provide COVID-19 testing to exposed employees.
  • The employer must exclude infected employees from the business location. Quarantining at home should be encouraged.
  • The employer must investigate if any workplace-related factors may have contributed to the COVID-19 infections or outbreak.
  • The employer must review their COVID-19 policies and procedures to determine if any changes need to be made to prevent the further spread of infections at the workplace.
  • The employer must notify the local health department of the number of infections found at the workplace.

If Your Business Has a Major COVID-19 Outbreak

The new emergency mandate of Section 3205.2 addresses what to do if your business has a major COVID-19 outbreak of Coronavirus of 20 or more infected employees in the workplace within thirty days. If your business experiences this type of COVID-19 outbreak, the employer must:

  • Pay for and provide COVID-19 testing to their employees at least twice a week or more, depending on the local health department’s recommendations.
  • Identify and correct any COVID-1920 hazards.
  • Follow the same regulations found in Section 3205.1 that a small outbreak requires.

If Your Business Provides Housing to Its Employees

The emergency mandate also has a new section 3205.3 stipulates additional guidelines for employers that provide housing for their employees. If you provide accommodation for any employees, you must:

  • Prioritize housing assignments.
  • Require physical distancing within the homes.
  • Require face masks to be worn within the homes.
  • Clean and disinfect the home according to the mandated procedures.
  • Provide symptom screening and COVID-19 testing for the employees.
  • Create and implement an isolation plan in case of infection.
Cal OSHA guidelines will require new safety regulations if you provide transportation for employees

If Your Business Provides Transportation To and From Work for Employees

The new Cal OSHA Emergency Workplace COVID-19 regulation Section 3205.4 mandates additional requirements for employers that provide transportation for their employees to and from work. These requirements state that the employer must:

  • Prioritize transportation assignments.
  • Require physical distancing, and face masks must be worn at all times within the vehicles.
  • Clean and disinfect all vehicles according to the requirements.
  • Follow ventilation requirements.
  • Enforce hand-hygiene requirements.

To Continue Operating, Your Business Must be Cal OSHA COVID-19 Compliant

These new emergency guidelines went into effect at the end of November 2020. Businesses will need to make all the necessary changes to their training programs, policies, and procedures that address COVID-19 prevention and infection.

By working quickly to be compliant, your business will be better equipped to prevent COVID-19 from infecting your workplace. Arrow Up provides turn-key COVID-19 Safety Training solutions to help you stay open during this challenging time.

Arrow Up offers comprehensive online training for safety and compliance programs for your employees. Arrow Up’s COVID-19 safety training and accountability tools enable you to follow the strict safety operation protocols and keep your business in operation during this difficult time.

Do you need a COVID-19 Safety program that complies with the latest regulations? Contact Arrow Up about their OSHA-Required COVID-19 Safety program.

Related Link: Safety Topics To Include in Your Employee Training Program for 2021

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