Cal/OSHA Withdraws Recently Approved COVID-19 ETS, Will Reconsider Next Week

On Wednesday during a special meeting, the Cal/OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) backtracked its revised COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS), unanimously voting to rescind the rules adopted last week that would have relaxed many workplace preB cautions against COVID-19. Recall, the standards adopted by the board last week would have still required all employees to wear a mask in a workplace setting if unvaccinated persons were present in the same room. If all persons in the same room are vaccinated, however, masking would not be required.

OSHSB took the steps to rescind the revised ETS following a letter to OSHSB Board Members from CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón describing the state’s updated masking guidance which will take effect on June 15 and not require fully vaccinated persons to wear a mask except in certain settings advised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

With OSHSB’s Wednesday vote to rescind the previously adopted standards, the state will temporarily return to Cal/OSHA’s original November 2020 regulations requiring all employees to physically distance and be masked, regardless of vaccination status, among other requirements. OSHSB is set to reconvene for a meeting next Thursday, June 17 to review a revised ETS proposal from Cal/OSHA staff that better aligns with the state’s updated masking guidance. If approved during the June 17 meeting, the regulations will be sent to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review and could take effect as soon as June 28.

Additional information on the Cal/OSHA developments is available here.