The new reporting and testing requirements for covid workplace compliance quietly went into effect on December 1, 2020. Even though some requirements carried over from March 2020, your HR needs to review the changes in order to avoid penalties.
All of these newer requirements were approved for emergency standards by the Office of Administrative Law, but most employers were not in the loop. Takeaway? Have an injury and illness prevention program in place soon. CA/OSHA will work with an employer if they can determine they are trying to compile while putting all the new requirements in-place.
CA/OSHA Requirements for Employers
As of December 2020 employers will need to follow these new CA/OSHA requirements:
- Contagious illness and cleaning training
- Hazard mitigation rules
- Sanitizers and cleaning/disinfecting supplies
- Specific testing record keeping
- Employee work leave
It also requires employees to notify their employer within 24 hours of coming into potential exposure of COVID-19 regardless of whether they are a vendor, employee, or independent contractor. Furthermore, they must implement a recordkeeping system to track all cases in their respected workplace.
Face-coverings must be supplied if someone forgets their personal covering. If accepted and voted on, these new temporary regulations may be in effect as early as November 30, 2020. Be ready!
Covid Workplace Compliance Violation Penalties
On January 1, 2021, AB 685 went into effect, requiring employers to notify all staff of employees' potential exposure to covid-19 and the local health officials. The new law allows OSHA to close a facility if they conclude there is an imminent hazard at that location, and an "outbreak" is 3 or more testing positive. This new law will be in effect until January 1, 2023.
How To Prepare for New CA/OSHA Requirements
SB 1159 should be reviewed, as the CA Governor signed it into place in March; it was supposed to end in early July but has been extended until January 1, 2023, for dates of injury and compensation from workers compensation.
My recommendation to all employers is to take this certification seriously and apply here at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/covid19cert.htm. It does not take an enormous amount of time and is very insightful to all.
Our company also offers a 20-minute training module on the topic, "Combating Contagious Illnesses in the Workplace," $14.99 a copy eLearning for employees.