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Prepare a Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Program Checklist

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

NOTE: A COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulation, approved December 15, 2022, will replace the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The Non-Emergency Regulation is expected to take effect sometime in January 2023 once approved by the Office of Administrative Law. The ETS remains in effect in the meantime.

When to Use

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA or the Division) adopted COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that establish various requirements for all employers and places of employment aimed at protecting employees from COVID-19. The ETS has been revised several times, with the third readoption becoming effective May 6, 2022 and expiring on December 31, 2022. Cal/OSHA also released updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that provide guidance on the revised ETS (guidance incorporated below).

Under the ETS, employers are required to develop and implement a written COVID-19 Prevention Program that addresses various criteria, including those relating to the investigation and correction of unsafe or unhealthy conditions, face coverings and employees' return to work. The program may either be a stand-alone document or be integrated into an existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).

The ETS applies to all employees and places of employment in California except the following:

  • Work locations where there is only one employee who does not have contact with other people;
  • Employees who are working from home;
  • Employees who are teleworking from a location of the employee's choice, which is not under the employer's control; and
  • Employees who are covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases regulation.

According to the FAQs, the ETS also applies to workplaces (other than a home) with only one employee who has brief contact with others. The safety measures that an employer must implement to comply should reflect this type of limited exposure.

For employees who split their work time between home and the workplace, the ETS applies only when employees work at the workplace, or are exposed at work, but not when they work from home.

However, the ETS does not apply to employees an employer assigns to telework but who choose to work somewhere other than their home, such as at a hotel or rental property.

Although employers do not have to complete the following steps in sequential order to properly complete the checklist, certain steps should be done in order.

Customizable Checklist