As a business in California, we wanted to notify you about an important legal development related to COVID-19 that may affect your business.
At the end of 2020, California pushed through some new OSHA regulations that employers are going to need to meet if they want to keep their doors open and their workers and guests safe. This time on the BIOClean Team blog, we’re taking a look at those regulations and how we can help you meet them!
The New Regulations
California has issued new regulations that require employers to do a long list of procedures and protocols, and create a written COVID-19 Prevention Program. Passed on November 30th, the law is effective immediately and will likely be in effect for the next 6-9 months for any business or organization that has an employee on site. Here’s a rough, quick breakdown on what these regulations entail.
Requirements for employers covered by the COVID-19 Prevention standard
- Establish, implement, and maintain an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program that includes:
- Identifying and evaluating employee exposures to COVID-19 health hazards.
- Implementing effective policies and procedures to correct unsafe and unhealthy conditions (such as safe physical distancing, modifying the workplace and staggering work schedules).
- Providing and ensuring workers wear face coverings to prevent exposure in the workplace.
- Provide effective training and instruction to employees on how COVID-19 is spread, infection prevention techniques, and information regarding COVID-19-related benefits that affected employees may be entitled to under applicable federal, state, or local laws.
When there are multiple COVID-19 infections and COVID-19 outbreaks
Employers must follow the requirements for testing and notifying public health departments of workplace outbreaks (three or more cases in a workplace in a 14-day period) and major outbreaks (20 or more cases within a 30-day period).
- COVID-19 testing for employees who might have been exposed
Requires employers to offer COVID-19 testing at no cost to their employees during their working hours who had potential COVID-19 exposure in the workplace and provide them with the information on benefits.
- Notification requirements to the local health department
A new requirement that obligates employers to contact the local health department immediately but no longer than 48 hours after learning of three or more COVID-19 cases to obtain guidance on preventing the further spread of COVID-19 within their workplace.
Recordkeeping and Reporting COVID-19 Cases
Employers must maintain a record of and track all COVID-19 cases, while ensuring medical information remains confidential. These records must be made available to employees, authorized employee representatives, or as otherwise required by law, with personal identifying information removed. When a COVID-19-related serious illness (e.g., COVID-19 illness requiring inpatient hospitalization) or death occurs, the employer must report this immediately to the nearest Cal/OSHA enforcement district office.
You can take a look at the full 21-page regulation .pdf here.
Here’s How BIOClean Can Help
The BIOClean Team is lead by Stacy Houston, a registered nurse with over a decade experience in Emergency Medicine and knows how to meet these kinds of rigorous guidelines. We’ll come out to the site, create a site plan and workflow guidelines, and potential post-exposure plans. All that and The BIOClean Team provides disinfection services should an exposure occur.