The COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations requiring employers to protect workers from hazards related to COVID-19 are now in effect, following their approval by the Office of Administrative Law.
The new regulations will remain in effect through February 3, 2025, with recordkeeping requirements in effect through February 3, 2026. Notable provisions include:
– – COVID workplace measures: Employers may address COVID-19 workplace measures within their written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) or in a separate document. Employers must maintain an effective written Injury and Illness Prevention Program that addresses COVID-19 as a workplace hazard and includes measures to prevent workplace transmission, employee training, and methods for responding to COVID-19 cases at the workplace. Employers are legally obligated to provide and maintain a safe and healthful workplace for employees, including the prevention of COVID-19 exposure.
– – Close Contact Definition: Close contact is determined by looking at the size of the workplace, as set forth in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) State Public Health Officer Order.
o For indoor spaces of 400,000 or fewer cubic feet per floor, close contact is defined as sharing the same indoor airspace as a COVID-19 case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the COVID-19 case’s infectious period as defined by this section, regardless of the use of face coverings.
o For indoor spaces of greater than 400,000 cubic feet per floor, close contact is defined as being within six feet of the COVID-19 case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the COVID-19 case’s infectious period, as defined by this -section, regardless of the use of face coverings
o Offices, suites, rooms, waiting areas, break or eating areas, bathrooms, or other spaces that are separated by floor-to-ceiling walls shall be considered distinct indoor spaces.
– – Infectious Period Definition: Infectious period is defined by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) State Public Health Officer Order.
– – COVID Testing: Employers must make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during employees’ paid time, regardless of vaccination status to all employees of the employer who have had close contact in the workplace and who are not returned cases.
– – Ventilation: For indoor locations, employers must review applicable CDPH guidance and implement effective measures to prevent transmission through improved filtration and/or ventilation. Cal/OSHA is updating its resources to assist employers with understanding their obligations required by the COVID-19 Prevention Regulations.
The COVID-19 Prevention Resources webpage contains a fact sheet that describes the regulations, FAQs and an updated model program.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, is the division within the Department of Industrial Relations that helps protect California’s workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace.
Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their worker health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
National Nurses United, with nearly 225,000 members nationwide, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history. In 2009, California Nurses Association/National