California’s New Aerosol Transmissible Disease Regulations Seek To Prevent Diseases in High-Risk Workplaces

Fourth Quarter 2009Newsletters California UPDATE Employment Law

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California's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board recently adopted regulations on aerosol transmissible diseases (ATDs) to address workplace exposure to airborne diseases in particular settings. The new regulations seek to ensure the health and safety of workers who are at increased risk of exposure to aerosol transmissible diseases such as TB, SARS, Avian flu and human influenza viruses (such as H1N1). While there are several levels of requirements for different types of facilities, most covered facilities must create an exposure control plan; implement practice controls; provide personal protective equipment, medical services and annual training to employees; and conduct appropriate recordkeeping. All employers covered by the regulations must provide all the required safeguards at no cost to the employees and during working hours. Employers are encouraged to review the new regulations and discuss compliance issues with counsel. The regulations can be found at Title 8, Section 5199 of the California Code of Regulations.