Cal/OSHA adopts revised COVID-19 ETS
Posted June 25, 2021
On June 17, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted revisions to the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The revisions account for recent guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) based on increases in the number of people vaccinated.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order enabling the revisions to take effect without the normal 10-day review period by the Office of Administrative Law. The ETS took effect June 17.
The revisions include:
- Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or excluded from work after close contact unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear face coverings except for certain situations during outbreaks and in settings where CDPH requires all persons to wear them. Employers must document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated employees if they do not wear face coverings indoors.
- Employees are not required to wear face coverings when outdoors regardless of vaccination status except for certain employees during outbreaks.
- Employees are explicitly allowed to wear a face covering without fear of retaliation from employers.
- Physical distancing requirements have been eliminated except where an employer determines there is a hazard and for certain employees during major outbreaks.
- Employees who are not fully vaccinated may request respirators for voluntary use from their employers at no cost and without fear of retaliation from their employers.
- Employees who are not fully vaccinated and exhibit COVID-19 symptoms must be offered testing by their employer.
- Employer-provided housing and transportation are exempt from the regulations where all employees are fully vaccinated.
- Employers must review the Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments.
- Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtration efficiency, and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems.
Cal/OSHA says it is updating its resources to assist employers with understanding their obligations under the revised ETS.
This article was written by Rachel Krubsack of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.