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February 28, 2022

CAL/OSHA and COVID-19: What has changed?

In December of 2021, the Standards Board of CAL/OSHA voted to update and readopt the temporary heightened COVID-19 workplace safety rules that were approved as an emergency action in November of 2020. This new revision became effective on January 14, 2022, following the reimposition of the statewide indoor mask mandate.

man in mask

New Mask Restrictions

CAL/OHSA’s previous rules stated that fully vaccinated people were not required to wear masks at work if they had been exposed to the COVID-19. Under the new rules, fully vaccinated people must wear face coverings and socially distance from other workers for 14 days if they have been exposed to the virus.

New Pay Rules

The new rules also affect how employers will pay employees who are excluded from the workplace because of COVID-19. The updated requirement says that fully vaccinated employees who are exposed to COVID-19 do not need to be excluded from the workplace. Since they are not excluded, they do not need to be paid for time out of work. Fully vaccinated individuals can still come to work if they wear a face covering and physically distance themselves from others for 14 days.

What’s next?

The Standards Board is currently discussing whether to keep the new rules permanently or try a different method to deal with COVID-19 in the workplace. The current temporary rules expire in April of 2022, and it is anticipated that the Standards Board will reach a decision by that date.

For more information about keeping your workplace safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, see the Intro to Industrial Hygiene Training and the Infectious Disease Training on the Hard Hat Training website.

Visit Hard Hat Training’s California Online Safety Training Courses to browse our CAL/OSHA online training courses. To complete trainings that are compliant specifically with CAL/OSHA standards, visit CAL/OSHA Trainings.

Good luck and stay safe!


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