In response to calls from workers and advocates, California adopted emergency rules designed to strengthen COVID-19 protections for all workers in our state. The rules apply to almost all workers not already covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard (which primarily applies to health care facilities and services).
Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) comes after workers and advocates submitted a petition in May 2020 to the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board. An incredible coalition of 45+ occupational health and safety organizations, labor unions, worker centers, community groups, and environmental organizations made this happen – many of their logos are at the bottom of this page.
Plans are also underway for a more permanent aerosol transmissible disease standard. For information on future revisions contact Worksafe or see information from Cal/OSHA and the Standards Board about pending actions and upcoming hearings.
Employers must have a written COVID-19 Prevention Plan assessing how coronavirus might spread at the workplace, and detailing what specific protections the employer is putting in place to prevent spread.
The latest standard is here, in five parts: The main section on COVID-19 Prevention. Two short sections related to action in the case of outbreaks. One section on COVID-19 Prevention in Employer-Provided Housing and another on Employer-Provided Transportation to and from Work.
Employers and workers who have questions or need assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services at 800-963-9424.
As of Spring 2022, there have been over 9 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in California, and around 90,000 deaths (source). From meat processing, to the garment industry, to grocery stores, to fast food, the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces is more than a devastating headline. Workers in low-income jobs, immigrants and workers of color have borne the brunt of these deaths (source).
Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health