Workplace safety and health regulations in California require employers to protect workers exposed to airborne infectious diseases such as the coronavirus. Cal/OSHA has posted guidance to help employers comply with these safety requirements and to provide workers information on how to protect themselves.
Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) standard (section 5199) requires protection for employees working at health care facilities, and other services and operations, including:
Hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, medical offices, outpatient medical facilities, home health care, long-term health care facilities, hospices, medical outreach services, medical transport and emergency medical services
Certain laboratories, public health services and police services that are reasonably anticipated to expose employees to an aerosol transmissible disease.
Correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and drug treatment programs
Any other locations when Cal/OSHA informs employers in writing that they must comply with the ATD Standard.
I suggest filing complaints by email. See the Enforcement Office Locations page to get the email address for the closest district office.
Remember ATD can apply to any industry where workers are exposed.
While Cal/OSHA have been issued an order to be in “advise & consult, not enforce” mode, the ATD Standards still apply. So we should continue to file complaints because our employers are still responsible for protecting healthcare workers and serious violations remain enforceable.
For your call/email, please gather as much information as possible. Please include the following information, if available:
1. Name, address, and telephone number of the worksite
2. Type of business
3. Name and job title of the manager at the worksite
4. Your name, address, telephone number, and email address
5. Detailed description of the hazard
6. If worksite is large, the specific location of the hazard
7. Operations, equipment, machinery, and chemicals used at the worksite
8. Work tasks performed near the hazard
9. How often the work tasks are performed and for how long at any one time
10. Number of work shifts, the time that each shift begins, and the shift when the hazard occurs
11. Number of employees at the worksite, number of employees who may be exposed to the hazard, and how close the employees are to the hazard
12. Employees injured or having symptoms caused by the hazard and whether the employees have received medical treatment for their injuries or symptoms
13. How long the hazard has existed, whether the employer knows about the hazard, and whether the employer has tried to correct the hazard
14. How long you expect the hazard will continue to exist at the worksite
15. If there is an employee bargaining unit representative for the worksite, the person’s name and contact information