Cal/OSHA is currently visiting agricultural operations to verify implementation of the COVID-19 General Checklist and the Daily Checklist of Agricultural Employers and in compliance with the Safety & Health Guidance: COVID-19 Infection Prevention for Agricultural Employers and Employees.
Workplace safety and health regulations in California require employers to take steps to protect workers exposed to infectious diseases. Further, employers are required to have an effective written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). Accordingly, the agency states that its authority to enforce the provisions of the guidance documents arises from the IIPP standard requirement that employers must assess and abate workplace hazards in a systematic way:
“This guidance does not introduce any new legal obligations, but because COVID-19 is widespread in the community, most California workplaces must consider the disease a workplace hazard.”
As California begins the process of reopening businesses, the likelihood is greater that an employee may be exposed to COVID-19 outside of the workplace. CCM recommends that employers take steps to educate their employees about the virus and steps they can take to protect themselves and their families and not risk spreading the virus to others, including co-workers.