It’s been almost three months since CAL/OSHA introduced mandatory contact tracing regulations for businesses in California, yet some employers are still failing to comply – and authorities say it’s an issue that won’t be taken lightly.”
As of February 2, 2023, The Department of Industrial Relation, California (CAL/OSHA) created new compliance requirements for businesses that will sit under the California Occupational Safety and Health Act 1973.
Employers are no longer required to maintain a standalone COVID-19 Prevention Plan. Instead, employers must now address COVID-19 as they would other workplace hazards under the requirements found in section 3203 (Injury and Illness Prevention Program, IIPP), and include their COVID-19 procedures to prevent this health hazard in their written IIPP or in a separate document.
The COVID-19 non-emergency regulation that went into effect in February continues critical protections for workers to mitigate exposure to and spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Peter Melton, Public Information Officer for the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, says regulations are in place as a necessary protection measure, and non-compliance will be met with fines and disciplinary action.
“The COVID-19 non-emergency regulation that went into effect in February continues critical protections for workers to mitigate exposure to, and spread of COVID-19 in the workplace,” he said. “Employer compliance is imperative as COVID-19 and its emerging variants continue to be a serious occupational and community hazard. Violations of the COVID regulation may result in Cal/OSHA citations with penalties.”
To support employers in navigating and mitigating COVID hazards, Cal/OSHA has developed informational materials including comprehensive FAQs, a model prevention program and webinars. Employers can contact Cal/OSHA Consultation Services for assistance free of charge in complying with COVID prevention requirements.
COVID HAZARD MANAGEMENT: THE NEW NORMAL
A significant change of the new regulation compared to previous contact tracing regulations is that COVID regulations now fall under industrial regulations. This means, in workplace settings, COVID is perceived as a workplace hazard.
As such, employers need to adhere to the following strict new regulations:
- Identify COVID-19 health hazards and develop methods to prevent transmission in the workplace.
- Investigate and respond to COVID-19 cases and certain employees after close contact.
- Notify affected employees of COVID-19 cases in the workplace.
- Maintain records of COVID-19 cases and immediately report serious illnesses to Cal/OSHA and to the local health department when required.
- Employers must now report major outbreaks to Cal/OSHA.
A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO CAL/OSHA REGULATIONS
In order to remain compliant and avoid citations and penalties, these regulations must be adhered to for two years; however record keeping will remain in effect for three years.
For businesses who want to take a proactive approach to Cal/OSHA safety compliance and risk prevention, a solution has emerged. Contact Harald has an innovative system where it manages the implementation of the COVID-19 Prevention – Non-emergency Regulation – for businesses. Its technology has been rolled out globally since the emergence of COVID, delivering immediate positive results for many businesses in California and beyond.
“The implementation of an effective contact tracing system provides much-needed relief for businesses struggling with the pressure of new regulations and Cal/OSHA compliance,” says Matt Denton, Head of Product and Technology of Contact Harald.
“Our clients tell us it’s been a great weight off their shoulders to know their operations remain compliant and meet all new regulations. Not to mention it protects the staff and community from risk of outbreaks and non-compliance penalties.”
Contact Harald handles mandatory reporting and record keeping, enabling organizations to respond rapidly in the event of a positive case. “We had one client tell us that within just one week of implementing Contact Harald, they identified a positive case,” Denton says. “Supported by the contact tracing technology, they were able to rapidly locate team members and notify all relevant parties with total compliance at every step.”
“Without this system in place they may not have had the resources to catch the outbreak before it caused havoc through their workforce. The system virtually paid for itself within one day.”
SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE
As a world leader in contact tracing with thousands of customers globally, including leading firms and organizations such as BHP, Unilever, Paramount Studios, European Bank, Qantas and Astellas, Contact Harald (https://www.contactharald.com/california) is perfectly placed to help businesses manage the implementation of the COVID-19 Prevention – Non-emergency Regulation.
Contact Harald can:
1.Prevent transmission by quickly identifying who is a Close Contact for transmission plan.
- Inform only close contacts via SMS immediately.
- Assist in long-term record keeping to meet reporting obligations with CAL/OSHA & avoid citations and penalties.
- Reduce risk associated with workplace injuries and illness.
- Stay compliant with CAL/OSHA.
Learn more about Contact Harald https://www.contactharald.com/california
For the latest on CAL/OSHA regulations head to https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/Non_Emergency_Regulations/