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Cal/OSHA Withdraws Revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards

Thu Jun. 10th, 2021 PTWWW Legal Alert

On Wednesday June 9, 2021 the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board held a special meeting, which was prompted by last week’s approval of revised Emergency Temporary Standards, to hear from the California Department of Public Health on the new face covering guidance set forth in those revised standards.  These revised standards that were approved were covered in our prior newsletter.

However, at yesterday’s special meeting, the board decided to withdraw the revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards.  Cal/OSHA will present new recommended revisions to the board, which could be considered at a future meeting as early as the regular meeting on June 17.

Therefore, in the meantime, the protections adopted in November of 2020 will remain in effect.  In particular, the mask requirements set forth in the original Emergency Temporary Standards remain in effect until further notice.  This means that employers must provide employees with face coverings (or reimburse employees for the cost) and ensure they are worn over the nose and mouth when indoors and when outdoors, and within 6 feet of another.  Exceptions include: when an employee is alone in a room, when eating or drinking, when using a respirator or other respiratory protection, when an employee cannot use a face covering due to a medical or mental condition, if hearing impaired or communicating with a hearing-impaired person, or when specific work tasks cannot be performed with a face covering.  A summary of Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

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