Cal/OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 Infection Prevention Guide for Ag

By: The Saqui Law Group and Christina Anto

 The California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) issued updated guidance on COVID-19 Infection Prevention for Agricultural Employers and Employees.

While this guidance does not impose a new legal obligation on agricultural employers, the guidance provides helpful information and tools to assist agricultural employers in their efforts to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Agricultural employers are required to provide training to employees on COVID-19, including symptoms, safety measures, and potential sources of exposure. The guidance provides that adequate safety measures include the mandatory use of cloth face covers, social distancing and good sanitation practices.

The guidance also recommends that agricultural employers establish and implement the following procedures in their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP):

  • Immediately send employees with COVID-19 symptoms home or to medical care as needed;
  • Establish procedures to notify local health officials upon learning that someone has a COVID-19 infection;
  • Encourage sick workers to stay home;
  • Advise employees who stay home with symptoms not to return to work until at least 3 days after recovery and 10 days after the original onset of symptoms;
  • Make hand-washing stations more readily available and encourage use; and
  • Establish enhanced procedures for cleaning and disinfecting.

The guidance further recommends that agricultural employers establish procedures to increase social distancing, such as adjusting line speeds, staggering work shifts and breaks, limiting crew sizes, and providing additional seating and shade structures. Click here to review the guidance.

Agricultural employers should attempt to comply with the guidance and provide adequate training and safety measures to help prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19. If you have any questions about the guidance or COVID-19 compliance, please contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group, a division of Dowling Aaron Incorporated.

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