October 1, 2021

Permanent COVID Standard in the Works

Cal/OSHA’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health has announced it intends to work on a permanent version of the COVID Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  DOSH representatives met with its Advisory Committee to take comments on the proposal. 

DOSH wants the existing ETS, which is set to expire on January 14, 2022, to be readopted in December 2022 and expire in April 2022. The permanent standard would replace the readopted ETS and expire in April 2022.

DOSH says the new proposed standard would significantly streamline the current ETS.  Slated for removal include exclusion pay; handwashing cleaning and disinfection requirements; requirements to test symptomatic, unvaccinated employees; and the requirement for a separate COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP). Under the proposal, employers would be required to address COVID-19 through their Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

Provisions on employer-provided housing and transportation will be reportedly winnowed down as well. 

We will continue to monitor these developments and report on them in this space. Members with questions about the ETS or proposed COVID-19 standards should contact Western Growers.