COVID-19 Prevention Regulations for California

Josh McGill California Corner, Regulation

California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on Dec. 15 voted to adopt non-emergency COVID-19 prevention regulations. These regulations will take effect once they are approved by the Office of Administrative Law in January 2023. They will remain in effect for two years after the effective date, except for the recordkeeping subsections, which will remain in effect for three years.


These regulations include some of the same requirements found in the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). They also include new provisions aimed at making it easier for employers to provide consistent protections to workers.

These regulations apply to most workers in California who are not covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.

Important requirements from the ETS that are also part of the COVID-19 prevention regulations include:

  • Employers must provide face coverings and ensure they are worn by employees when the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires their use. Employers must review CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Masks to learn when employees must wear face coverings. Employees still have the right to wear face coverings at work and to request respirators from the employer when working indoors and during outbreaks.
  • Employers must report information about employee deaths, serious injuries and serious occupational illnesses to California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), consistent with existing regulations.
  • Employers must make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during paid time to employees following a close contact.
  • Employers must exclude COVID-19 cases from the workplace until they are no longer an infection risk and implement policies to prevent transmission after close contact.
  • Employers must review CDPH and Cal/OSHA guidance regarding ventilation, including CDPH and Cal/OSHA Interim Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments. Employers must also develop, implement and maintain effective methods to prevent COVID-19 transmission by improving ventilation.

Learn more about the new regulation here.

Source: Cal/OSHA

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