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California adopts strict workplace safety rules aimed at limiting spread of COVID-19

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California has now adopted an emergency temporary standard requiring  businesses to implement safety measures in the workplace. 

News Channel 3’s Dani Romero has more on what this means for businesses here in our valley.

RD RNNR, like every business, had to pivot their  work safety measures when the pandemic hit. 

Business owner, Chris Chmielak said he’s always looking for guidance. 

“We have been dealing with this for awhile but there are still alot of unknowns," said Chmielak.

Chmielak takes the COVID-19 threat seriously for his customers and his 56 employees.

“We are building a new patio on the east side of the restaurant all outside," said Chmielak. "We provide masks gloves and any other PPE that’s requested."

Chmielak said he tries to keep his employees accountable.

“We keep a log of who’s testing and who’s due for testing and we also ask if someone tests positive in their household that they come forward and disclose that information," said Chmielak.

On Thursday, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards board Cal OSHA approved a new emergency temporary standard that requires employers to implement safety measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. 

“It's more enforceable than the guidance," said Maggie Robbins.

 Occupational and Environmental Health Specialist for nonprofit, Worksafe, Maggie Robbins said the new rules are there to protect all workers.

“If there's an outbreak at their workplace, multiple cases within a period of time, then they have to go an extra mile to try and identify cases and to make sure that people who are potentially infectious or isolated away from the workplace," said Robbins.

Then, the impacted employees must be offered free testing. 

The standards also include 

  • a six foot separation between employees.
  • employees must wear masks. shields can’t be shared.
  • employers will also need to maintain an infected employees earnings and benefits during quarantine 

These standards may also improve conditions for agricultural workers. 

“Employer provided housing and employer provided transportation, which is particularly relevant for people who are guest workers in the US," said Robbins.

The standard will be effective for 180 days.

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Dani Romero

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