Circa 1932-Lunch Atop a Skyscraper
1905 Shipbuilding Welder
Circa 1910-Log Pond
Cotton Mill 1909 Courtesy of Smithsonian
Circa 1920-Dipper

New COVID 19 Emergency Standard - 3205

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal-OSHA board that sets regulations) will be taking action on an emergency COVID standard that could take effect, if adopted, by  as early as December 1st. The Board meets November 19th to file the new Standard and forward to the Office of Adminstrative Law (OAL) – they have 10 calendar days to review.  If approved the standard would become effective immediately and continue for 180 days, with 60 day extensions.  During the 180 days the Board may continue with rulemaking action, including a public comment period.

NCSC Director, Linda Kjesbu, will be ‘attending’ the November 19 meeting.  The meeting for emergency rulemaking will accept public comment but any of these comments will not be submitted to OAL.  Public comment that may affect changes to law, would follow the effective date of the emergency regulations, during the 180 day period - NCSC will plan on attending this meeting to help bring your concerns to the Board. 

NCSC would like to invite you to offer your input to represent employer views on the emergency regulation.  Please forward your comments to ncsc@norcalsafety.com  and we will compile and present those to the Board.

The proposed regulation – a new section to Title 8, 3205 – follows much of what employers are already doing as contained in your COVID Exposure Plans (and Humboldt County Reopening plans required of all businesses).  However, they have added both “Multiple Outbreak” and “Major Outbreak” procedures – Multiple Outbreak defined as 3 or more, and Major Outbreak defined as 20 or more.  Some of those particular changes relate to notifying Public Health, and what information would be provided to them. These new rules would also provide for policies or procedures that address accommodations for employees at high risk, providing employees with information on access to COVID testing, doing a hazard assessment of interactions, tools used, tasks, etc. that could expose an employee, as well as return to work criteria.

For Members, NCSC will be contacting members to review and update existing COVID Exposure Plans.  This is provided as part of your membership.  If any of our non-member clients wish to have a consultation on developing a written program and setting up procedures for compliance with the new Standard, please drop us an email or a phone call, and we’d be happy to go over and setup your compliance with the new COVID Standard.

COVID 19 - New Law AB 2043 - Effective 10/1/2020

AB 2043 goes into effect immediately as an 'urgency' bill.  Aimed ostensibly at agriculture, it requires COVID 19 training/information be provided to employees as a matter of law.  Agriculture in this context covers those working on the farm, but also any workers who cut, process, dry, etc. product that is meant for consumption.  Additionally, the law requires Cal-OSHA to disseminate information making it available to employers and employees, based on guidance documents, including, but not limited to Guidance on COVID 19 Prevention for Agricultural Employers and Employees.  Other text in the law, does seem to leave it open for extending some of this enforcement into other industries.  We will be covering the evolving regulations related to COVID 19 in an informal seminar on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 12pm.  You can register at Class Registration. 

COVID 19 - New Law AB 685 - Effective 1/1/2021

As of September 17, 2020 a new statute has been added to the Labor Code in response (in part) to COVID 19. This law goes into effect January 1, 2021.  Though it is not in Title 8 (Cal-OSHA safety rules), it will have a far reaching impact on employers through Cal-OSHA.  The rule deals with employee notifications, including notification of hazards and exposures, but also gives Cal-OSHA expanded powers in enforcement. 
 
NCSC is providing a luncheon seminar on the new law, as well as taking any questions employers may have on other compliance issues related to COVID 19. 
 

COVID 19 UPDATE

Humboldt County DHHS has allowed certain businesses to re-open with very clear caveats.  While essential services have continued, mask orders remain in place.  Masks must be worn when outside the home; 1) When social distancing of 6 feet cannot be done; 2) When entering a building (other than your own home), and we must still remain 6 feet apart.

What does this mean for training with NCSC?  The only walkin traffic will be by appointment, or when attending a scheduled training for which you are registered.  Training that supports essential services, in particular healthcare providers, was exempted from the Order with compliance with CDC, DHHS and AHA guidance.   NCSC will now be web streaming all but CPR and First Aid classes, and will gradually phase in training center-based classes that will be web-streamed for those who cannot attend in person.  We are slowly phasing in our regular CPR and First Aid classes, but with the above-referenced protocols, that will currently include:

  • All students wear masks
  • NCSC will provide breaks during class for the purpose of removing masks outside

  • Social distancing of 6 feet

    • We are fortunate that our new site can easily accommodate a class with distancing between students and manikins.

  • Metering and hand sanitzing as students enter the building (to maintain social distancing)

  • Equipment and class materials will not be shared

  • Frequent hand washing and/or sanitizing will be encouraged.

  • Some, more interactive portions of class will be modified to accommodate social distancing.

  • Gloves will be provided in class, as well as individual, sterilized pocket masks and practice valves as PPE to further protect students.

Students will be instructed on proper use of masks and gloves as part of training and appropriate cough etiquette.

We will continue to be here for your regulatory questions, safe work practice questions, and any program, plan or policy development you will need.  While many of you may be doing your spring cleaning at home, this is an excellent time to do some spring cleaning with safety programs, procedures and training.  At this time, we all are beginning to see how connected and dependent on eachother we all are.  We will come through this together - Be well, be safe!

Do You Need NCSC?

How do regulatory agencies affect your business?

  • Fear of Cal-OSHA or other regulatory action or citation
  • Locating and interpreting the, literally, thousands upon thousands of pages of regulations
  • Burdensome amount of time and energy trying to keep up with:
     • Written Programs
     • Compliance with these programs
     • Recordkeeping - When, how, how much?
     • Prevention measures and investigation of accidents, near misses.
  • The Bottom Line - The cost of injuries and worker's compensation premiums.

 

Your Responsibility

A core principle in the establishment of California occupational safety regulation, and what provides the real ‘teeth’ in the law, is the California Penal Code’s Title 10 §387 or, Corporate Criminal Liability Act. The Act holds an employer financially and criminally responsible for the imminent dangers in the workplace that are not remedied in a proscribed period of time.

The corporate entity, or manager/supervisor, must -

1 -  Be knowledgeable of serious dangers to employees; and,
2 -  Correct the danger; and,
3 -  Report to the appropriate agency to avoid criminal penalties.

SERVICE / TRAINING

NCSC is a service and training organization established to provide:

  • Policy Development
  • Employee Training
  • Facility Inspections and Audits
  • Accident/Exposure Investigations
  • Updates on Regulatory Issues
  • Consultation Services

REGULATORY / COMPLIANCE

NCSC can prepare programs and plans addressing regulatory compliance issues in such diverse areas as:
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Hazard Communication
  • Hearing Conservation
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • U.S. DOT and non-DOT Drug and Alcohol Programs
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Workplace Violence