CA Regulations related to COVID-19 Prevention

California has enacted regulations that require employers to comply with a series of employee health & safety and workers’ comp regulations.  The regulations are lengthy and complicated. We summarize the regulations below and add attachments with this email.

Please attend the Webinar presented by the California New Car Dealers Association on December 15th, 2020. The dealership can get the details for this webinar from http://www.cncda.org. This webinar will discuss in detail the new COVID-19 regulations and legally mandated obligations for employers.

SB 1159: SB 1159 took effect on September 17, 2020 and remains in effect until January 1, 2023. The bill protects the health and safety of employees in the state of California and the public by facilitating the provision of workers’ compensation benefits. The dealership should immediately contact their workers’ compensation insurance provider/broker and undertake steps for compliance. Also, see the attached PDF on SB 1159 FAQ.

AB 685: AB 685 places obligations on employers that have three or more positive cases at a location within 14 days. The employer is required to inform the local health agency and follow guidelines for employee notification and testing as outlined here https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/AB6852020FAQs.html . If an employer has 20 or more cases within a 30 day period, then further testing obligations kick in. 

Cal/OSHA has published three documents that we attach to this email as follows:

  1. Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Standards: The attached Cal/OSHA documentation summarizes the employer requirements for Covid-19 prevention as outlined in AB 685.
  2. Covid Prevention Plan Cal/OSHA  template: As part of the requirements, the employer must maintain a COVID-19 prevention plan (CPP). The bill gives an option for the employer to include the CPP in the Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP). In order to manage the program in a simple manner, we recommend that each dealership enact their own independent CPP and undertake all the steps required under the CPP. The template provided by Cal/OSHA is to be completed and implemented by each employer as applicable. Specifically the checklists and logs documenting training and other matters must be completed in a diligent manner. In summary, the dealership should complete the CPP pursuant to their facility and ensure steps noted in the CPP are undertaken in a diligent manner.
  3. Covid-19 Emergency Standard FAQ: Cal/OSHA has provided clarification as to what employers are required to do under these new emergency standards. The dealership should review the FAQ attached.

Training Portal from Cal/OSHA:  Cal/OSHA has provided online training as well. The dealership can retrieve the Cal/OSHA training at https://trainingacademy.dir.ca.gov/page/on-demand-training-covid19.  This training can be helpful to the dealership management and facilitate training for all employees. The system also provides a certificate which must be retained in files to show that training has been provided to each of the employees.

Again, please make sure that your CPP is completed and that employee training and other tasks listed on CPP are undertaken promptly.

DISCLAIMER:  The contents of this newsletter are merely for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as legal advice.   Employers must consult their lawyer for legal matters and EPA/OSHA consultants for matters related to Environmental, Health & Safety. The article was authored by Sam Celly of Celly Services, Inc. who has been helping automobile dealers comply with EPA and OSHA regulations since 1987.  Sam received his BE (1984) and MS (1986) in Chemical Engineering, followed by a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law (1997).  Our newsletters can be accessed at www.epaoshablog.com.  Your comments/questions are always welcome.  Please send them to sam@cellyservices.com.

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