SACRAMENTO, CA — (05-20-20) — Cal/OSHA‘ COVID-19 Reopening Readiness Guidelines have been released.  The state of California’s Cal/OSHA regulations require protection for workers exposed to airborne infectious diseases such as the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This interim guidance does not impose new legal obligations. It provides employers and workers with information for preventing exposure to the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19. Employers and employees should review their own health and safety procedures as well as the recommendations and standards detailed below to ensure workers are protected.

While Cal/OSHA is being strict with their guidelines for California, the adult entertainment industry has been on a voluntary production hold due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic for over month.

In fact the Free Speech Coalition issued the hold after the trade group said, “it is neither safe to shoot, nor legally permitted under local government orders” to shoot porn.

Employers Covered by the ATD Standard

Cal/OSHA requires employers covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard (California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 5199) to protect employees from airborne infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and pathogens transmitted by aerosols. The ATD Standard applies to:

Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP)

California employers are required to establish and implement an IIPP (title 8 section 3203) to protect employees from workplace hazards, including infectious diseases. Employers are required to determine if COVID-19 infection is a hazard in their workplace.

If it is a workplace hazard, then employers must implement infection control measures, including applicable and relevant recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): How to Protect Yourself & Others. For most California workplaces, adopting changes to their IIPP is mandatory since COVID-19 is widespread in the community.

Establish Infection Prevention Measures

Include the following infection prevention measures in a written IIPP when applicable to the workplace:

* Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.

* Immediately send employees home or to medical care, as needed, if they have a frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or recent loss of taste or smell.

* Ensure employees who are out ill with fever or acute respiratory symptoms do not return to work until both of the following occur:

* At least three full days pass with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and no acute respiratory illness symptoms; and..

* At least 10 days pass since the symptoms first appeared.

* Provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 if required to by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

* Ensure employees that return to work following an illness promptly report any recurrence of symptoms.

* Encourage employees to telework from home when possible.

* Practice physical distancing by cancelling in-person meetings, using video or telephonic meetings, and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between persons at the workplace when possible.

* Provide employees with cloth face covers or encourage employees to use their own face covers for use whenever employees may be in workplaces with other persons. Cloth face coverings are not personal protective equipment (PPE), but combined with physical distancing of at least six feet, they may help prevent infected persons without symptoms from unknowingly spreading COVID-19.

* Avoid shared workspaces (desks, offices, and cubicles) and work items (phones, computers, other work tools, and equipment) when possible.

* If they must be shared, clean and disinfect shared workspaces and work items before and after use.

Review the Cal/OSHA Interim General Guidelines on Protecting Workers from COVID-19 by Following This Link.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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