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California’s New Permanent Standards for COVID-19-Related Workplace Health and Safety Are Now in Effect
On February 3, 2023, the permanent General Industry Safety Orders (“Permanent Standards”) concerning COVID-19-related workplace health and safety requirements took effect.
The Permanent Standards, which replace the Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”), will remain in effect for two (2) years, unless the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“OSHSB”) repeals or extends the regulations.
To assist clients in understanding their new legal obligations, LCW published a Special Bulletin that addresses the most significant differences between the ETS and the Permanent Standards. The substantive changes include changes to the following subjects:
- Definitions for certain terms, such as “close contact” and “infectious period”;
- Training and instruction regarding COVID-19;
- Investigating COVID-19 illnesses in the workplace; and
- Reporting and recordkeeping
LCW also drafted a model COVID-19 Prevention Program (“CPP”), which addresses and accounts for each of the requirements under Section 3205 of the Permanent Standards. Employers may use the model CPP in order to discharge their legal obligation to adopt and implement a CPP that complies with the Permanent Standards. The model CPP is available for purchase here.
LCW attorneys are well versed in the new regulatory requirements and are available to assist employers in modifying their policies and practices to comply with the new legal requirements. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact our Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, San Diego, or Sacramento office.
 See 8 C.C.R. 3205-3205.3.
 It should be noted that the legal obligations of the Permanent Standards can also be discharged through an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (“IIPP”), if an employer has one in place and modifies it to account for the regulatory requirements. However, because the Permanent Standards are subject to change, due to their expiration in two years, LCW recommends maintaining a CPP that is distinct from an IIPP. This will facilitate future adjustments and updates.