NSC Business and Industry Division news Workplace exposures State Plan states

California adopts non-emergency COVID-19 regulations

Reprints
Cal-OSHA.jpg
Photo: YULIYA SHAVYRA/iStockphoto

Sacramento, CA — California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has voted to adopt non-emergency COVID-19 prevention regulations.

Approved Dec. 15, the proposed regulations include some of the requirements included in the emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 prevention, as well as new provisions aimed at “making it easier for employers to provide consistent protections to workers and allow for flexibility if changes are made to guidance in the future from the California Department of Public Health.”

In a press release, the state’s Department of Industrial Relations says the emergency standards will remain in effect while the Office of Administrative Law reviews the proposed rules. OAL has 30 working days to complete its review. If approved, the regulations will be in effect for two years.

Under the proposed regulations, employers’ COVID-19 exposure prevention efforts must include maintaining an effective written injury and illness prevention program that addresses the illness as a workplace hazard. The program must include measures to prevent transmission, employee training and methods for responding to work-related cases of COVID-19.

Free COVID-19 testing must be made available to employees during paid time and after a close contact, except for returned cases. Additionally, all indoor work locations, regardless of size, must review CDPH guidelines and implement effective measures to prevent transmission through improved filtration and/or ventilation.

The proposed rules also clarify the definitions of “infectious period” and “close contact.”

CDPH defines an infectious period two ways. For symptomatic cases, that period is two days before the person exhibited symptoms through Day 10 after symptoms first appeared, and 24 hours have passed with no fever without the use of fever medications and symptoms have improved.

For asymptomatic cases, the period is two days before the positive test date through Day 10 after the initial positive test date. In both cases, the infectious period is recognized as Days 5-10 if testing negative on Day 5 or later.

Close contact depends on the size of the workplace. In indoor spaces of 400,000 or fewer cubic feet per floor, a close contact is defined as sharing the same indoor airspace as a COVID-19 case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the individual’s infectious period.

In workplaces of more than 400,000 cubic feet per floor, a close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the COVID-19 case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the individual’s infectious period.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)