New COVID Workplace Rules Unveiled
Review and update your written COVID Prevention Program. Need some help? Cal/OSHA has provided a 20-page fill-in-the-blank sample in Microsoft Word that you can easily customize for your company.
Cal/OSHA will soon be presenting free industry-specific webinars for employers and supervisors. Plan on attending.
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“For employers who need time to fully implement the regulations, enforcement investigators will take their good faith efforts to implement the emergency standards into consideration. However, aspects such as eliminating hazards and implementing testing requirements during an outbreak are essential.”
– Cal/OSHA Chief Doug Parker
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Cal/OSHA’s recently approved emergency regulations to protect workers from COVID-19 hazards means changes to your workplace. CAL/OSHA means business with these new regulations. How serious? For violations, inspectors can – and will – shut down an entire worksite.
“These are strong but achievable standards to protect workers. They also clarify what employers have to do to prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19 and stop outbreaks,” Cal/OSHA Chief Doug Parker said in a statement.
As we have since the start, CLCA is monitoring the situation as it relates to COVID-19 and landscape operations. See clca.org/covid for the most up-to-date information.
As emergency standards, the new regulations become effective immediately. They will remain in place for six months and can be extended for a total of 180 days. That adds up, effectively, to December 1 of 2021.
They impact all employees and places of employment. Key exceptions are for places of employment with one employee who does not have contact with other persons and employees working from home.
The new regulations mandate a written COVID Prevention Program and site-specific strategies that include:
- A process for informing employees about COVID prevention procedures, including a way for employees to report exposures without fear of retaliation.
- A mandate to investigate and report cases in the workplace. In cases of potential exposure, employers must immediately ascertain who may have been exposed, provide notice within one business day about potential exposures and offer testing to workers who may have been exposed.
- The implementation of physical distancing procedures to ensure workers stay at least six feet apart from other people if possible.
- Requirements for employers to require face coverings and ensure that they are worn.
- The adoption of site-specific strategies such as changes to the workplace and work schedules and providing personal protective equipment to reduce exposure to the virus.