What are the Cal/OSHA requirements for reporting occurrences of COVID-19 in the workplace?

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) enacted a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard on November 30, 2020, that details specific notification and reporting requirements for COVID-19 in the workplace.

Under the emergency regulation, when there is a COVID-19 case in the workplace, employers must identify the last day and time the “COVID-19 case” (defined as someone with a positive COVID-19 test, subject to an isolation order or who has died due to COVID-19) was at the worksite, determine who may have been exposed based on specified criteria, and provide notice of the potential exposure, within one business day, to “all employees who may have had COVID-19 exposure and their authorized representatives,” and to “independent contractors and other employers present at the workplace during the high-risk exposure period,” as defined. Employers must also offer testing to employees potentially exposed and provide them with information on benefits they may be entitled to, such as workers’ compensation, paid sick leave, etc.

The new regulation also contains outbreak criteria that trigger additional reporting requirements. If there are three or more COVID-19 cases in the workplace in a two-week period, employers must report that to the local health department within 48 hours. Under those circumstances, employers must report the total number of COVID-19 cases, the name, contact information, occupation, workplace location, business address, hospitalization or fatality status, and NAICS worksite code. Employers must continue to give notice to their local health departments of any subsequent COVID-19 cases at the workplace.

For more information on Cal/OSHA’s new COVID-19 emergency standard, review the following guidance:

Additionally, employers may need to record COVID-19 cases on their Log 300 if the case triggers ordinary Log 300 requirements. Cal/OSHA published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the topic.

Read more about Recording Work-Related Injury and Illness in the HR Library.

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