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The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has instituted emergency regulations requiring employers to protect workers from hazards related to COVID-19, according to a press release from the division.

The emergency standards apply to most workers in California not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard. The regulations require that employers implement a site-specific written COVID-19 prevention program to address COVID-19 health hazards, correct unsafe or unhealthy conditions and provide face coverings. When there are multiple COVID-19 infections or outbreaks at the worksite, employers must provide COVID-19 testing and notify public health departments. The regulations also require accurate recordkeeping and reporting of COVID-19 cases.

“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,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Doug Parker.

The regulations went into effect at the start of December.

"We understand the need to educate and assist employers as they implement the new provisions of the emergency standards," said Parker. "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.”

For those seeking more information, Cal/OSHA has posted a one-page fact sheet on the regulation.