California Weighing Third COVID-19 ETS Renewal

By Guy Burdick, EHS Daily Advisor Apr 21, 2022 COVID-19Regulatory Developments

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will weigh a third renewal of the state’s COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) this week at its April 21 meeting. If adopted, the proposed ETS would emphasize hand-washing, personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and worker removal, and ventilation as hazard controls rather than cleaning and disinfection. The proposal also would establish strict requirements for face coverings

There is no federal COVID-19 standard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) withdrew a vaccinate-or-test ETS after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an indefinite stay of the emergency rule. OSHA has a set of employer guidelines for COVID-19 health and safety. The agency utilizes the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to cite employer violations.

OSHA has proposed establishing a permanent healthcare COVID-19 standard based on its June 21, 2021, industry-specific ETS, which was withdrawn on December 27.