The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will meet on September 15th to hear public comments on the extension of the state’s Covid-19 workplace safety standard, enacted in 2020 and set to expire on December 31st.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s draft regulation would continue to require employers to “establish, implement and maintain an effective illness and injury prevention program” for 2023 and beyond.
In the new draft, Cal/OSHA clarifies what constitutes close contact as “sharing the same indoor space as a covid-19 case for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period during the contagious period of the covid-19 case, as defined in this section, regardless of the use of face protection.” It also calls for more reporting procedures if someone is victimized.
Cal/OSHA also defines a “large outbreak” as 20 or more employee COVID-19 cases in an exposed group. If someone visited such a workplace during their infectious period within a 30-day period, Cal/OSHA calls for testing and reporting.
The draft also addresses COVID-19 prevention in employer-provided housing, with such protocols addressing ventilation, masking, and reporting of infections.
Regarding masking, “regardless of vaccination status, previous infection or absence of covid-19 symptoms”, the draft states “a case of covid-19 must wear a face covering in the workplace until 10 days have passed since the date of covid-19 symptoms began or, if the person did not have covid-19 symptoms, from the date of their first positive covid-19 test.”