Thursday, June 10, 2021

CoViD-19: Cal/OSHA Says Workplaces Must Still Mandate Masks Beyond June 15 (For Now) | Cold War Kids Presale |

(Taken 9.13.2020)

I am no legal scholar, I'm not a politician, and I'm not super smart right now after a night in the Speakeasy, but I was checking my email on a thing (Cold War Kids are playing at Observatory North Park on September 24 and tickets go on presale from 10am-10pm on Thursday with either the password ENCORE or 91X) and I had this email from Cal/OSHA. I'm going to publish it as it was sent, with a couple bold types from me, because there's this crazy thing about the "confusion" between guidelines from the CDC, CDPH (California Dept. of Public Health) and Cal/OSHA, but to me it hasn't really ever been confusing at all: the CDC give guidance for individual people who want to interact with the world. OSHA's job is to concern themselves with the health and safety of workers in all sectors in a very general way. It seems obvious that if I walk into a taco shop, order my food, and wait for 10 or 20 minutes that my situation is far different from the line cook in the back who is preparing my food and everyone else's for 8, 10, or 12 hours on end, elbow to elbow with their coworkers and the airborne grossness of all the customers who walk in all day.

Anyway, I didn't watch this meeting but what I'm reading is that too many employers were saying it was too hard to mandate or pressure vaccinations, and the others were crying about having to get proof of vaccination from their workers, so Cal/OSHA just said, "Fuck it! If it's too hard, we'll make it easy. WORKERS need to continue to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status." The CDC guidelines, as I understand them, are for individuals making choices about how to navigate the world. They didn't address workers or industries or sectors, and California is saying that we're making it very clear. If you go shopping or to a bar or a restaurant or travel, your exposure is limited. If you are WORKING in those industries, you have far more chances of virus, wildly or breakthrough, and your companies can either be liable or give you the time you need off to get vaccinated. 

It's science but I kinda also think it is a little more stick than carrot and for the rest of us, I am totally okay for it. I guess final note: employers may continue mask regulations; most won't, but it's up to you if you even want any exposure, despite vax status. I don't want my underage unvaccinated nieces carrying a variant to my dad who got J&J and has no real other protection. NBC San Diego interviewed a man who was vaccinated and tested positive with an asymptomatic breakthrough, but is hoping his unvaxxed friend doesn't die after being intubated. Are these really choices? 

Anyway, I'm interested in the media response to the Cal/OSHA thing. It won't be pretty but I'm here for it. Full release after the jump. 

Stay safe out there. 

California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board Receives Update on California Department of Public Health Guidance: Directs Board Staff to Withdraw the Revisions Submitted to the Office of Administrative Law and Not Yet in Effect

Sacramento—The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board) this evening voted to withdraw the revisions to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards that they had voted to approve on June 3, and that were sent to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review.

The vote was held during a special meeting on June 9 to consider the latest guidance regarding masking from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The meeting, attended by members of the public including workers, industry leaders, employers and other stakeholders shared their views on the matter in more than two and a half hours of public comment.

Last November, the Board adopted emergency temporary health and safety standards to protect workers from COVID-19 that went into effect that month. On June 3, the Standards Board voted to adopt revisions due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those revised emergency standards were expected to go into effect no later than June 15 pending approval by the OAL within 10 calendar days after the Standards Board rulemaking package submission. At today’s meeting, the Standards Board voted unanimously to withdraw the revisions approved on June 3 that are currently at OAL for review but have not yet become effective. Cal/OSHA will review the new mask guidance and bring any recommended revisions to the board. The Board could consider new revisions at a future meeting, perhaps as early as the regular meeting on June 17. In the meantime, the protections adopted in November of 2020 will remain in effect.

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, a seven-member body appointed by the Governor, is the standards-setting agency within the Cal/OSHA program. The Standards Board's objective is to adopt reasonable and enforceable standards at least as effective as federal standards. The Standards Board also has the responsibility to grant or deny applications for permanent variances from adopted standards and respond to petitions for new or revised standards.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, is the division within the Department of Industrial Relations that helps protect California’s workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

No comments: