Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards For Employers: What Your Employees Need To Know
With the targeted statewide re-opening nearing June 15th and the widespread vaccine availability, Cal/OSHA guidance must be followed in the workplace. Despite any guidance around relaxed standards for vaccinated individuals by the CDC, CDPH, or local health departments, Cal/OSHA is still the voice that matters for employers’ policies and procedures in the workplace. Specifically, employers must continue to follow the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards.
The COVID-19 Prevention Plan is still required of every Company and is still applicable to every employee of the workplace, regardless of vaccination status. This includes the use of face-coverings, social distancing, and employees being excluded from the workplace due to a COVID-19 infection or being in close contact with a COVID-19 infected person; all of the standards remain intact for all employees.
As has been continually demonstrated throughout the pandemic, changes come often. It is certain that we will see some additional updates and clarity from Cal/OSHA.
Updated July 30, 2021: Revised ETS by Cal/OSHA
Understand that employers may decide to continue with more restrictive COVID-19 protocols such as requiring all staff, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to wear face coverings. This is important to consider for reasons such as:
- Will a change in the protocol create tension? It will become very clear who is vaccinated and who is not, which may cause individuals to feel uncomfortable, could lead to inappropriate questioning and comments, and possibly result in a workplace divide.
- Staff may begin to share confidential medical information to justify their vaccine status causing concern and/or consideration for discrimination and/or reasonable accommodation.
- There may be staff who are uncomfortable and/or feel unsafe and as a result might request an exception, accommodation, or resign from employment. The same may occur if you continue the current protocol, so consider your staff and circumstances.
- Do you have a plan? Review the requirements. A change in protocols must be planned and well communicated.
- Are you ready for any potential COVID-19 cases which may result due to a change in COVID-19 protocol?
- If applicable, don’t forget to consider the perception of your customers and their safety?
- The ETS is compiled in 30 pages of materials, there is a lot to understand.
Be sure to read the revision FAQs found here. Continue to review for updates.
You can find the revised ETS and full ETS FAQs here, see the menu on the right.
Want assistance with your COVID-19 Prevention Plan and/or related training for your staff?
Elmore HR Consulting Is Your Source For Real-Time HR management, education and resources. Call us today our safety services will get you dialed in, in no time.