Cal/OSHA Proposes New COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

Today, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) made available its updated proposed emergency temporary standard (ETS) relative to COVID-19 precautions in workplace settings. Recall, Cal/OSHA last week announced it was delaying proposed action on its ETS proposal that would have allowed individuals to return to workplaces without physical distancing or face coverings if all individuals in the workplace are vaccinated. The delay came after updated guidance for fully vaccinated persons from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an announcement from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that guidance for the use of face coverings would be relaxed in nonworkplace settings on June 15.

Under the newly issued ETS, Cal/OSHA aligns its guidance with the latest available guidelines from the CDC and CDPH. The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) will meet next Thursday, June 3 to consider the newly proposed standard. If adopted by OSHSB at that time, it is anticipated the standard would become effective on June 15.

Additional information on the newly proposed standard, as well as next week’s meeting materials, are available here.