How to Stay Safe on the Job
Cal/OSHA’s regulations require protection for workers exposed to airborne infectious diseases such as the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control has issued interim guidance for businesses and employers to help prevent workplace exposure to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.
CDC’s recommended strategies for employers to use now:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
- Separate sick employees
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Providing information and training to employees on:
- Cough and sneeze etiquette
- Hand hygiene
- Avoiding close contact with sick persons
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding sharing personal items with co-workers (i.e. dishes, cups, utensils, towels)
- Providing tissues, no-touch disposal trash cans and hand sanitizer for use by employees
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
- Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
- Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Cal/OSHA Regulations for Workplaces Where There is Significant Risk of Exposure
- All employers must have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program to protect employees from workplace hazards.
- All employers must provide washing facilities that have an adequate supply of suitable cleansing agents, water and single-use towels or blowers
- Employers must conduct a hazard assessment to determine if hazards are present in the workplace that necessitate the use of Personal Protective Equipment
- Employers must protect employees from inhalation exposures that can result in injury, illness, disease, impairment or loss of function.
What UFCW is Fighting For
UFCW Western States Council is working night and day to ensure the health and safety of our members. We’re working closely with the Administration to make sure employees can:
- Access 14 days of paid sick leave
- Access time and facilities to wash their hands every 30 minutes and ensure other health and safety measures are being followed
- Alter work schedules to address childcare and other needs
- Be designated first responders/front line workers
We’re also working hard to:
- Expedite all permissions needed by WIC and SNAP approved retailers who provide online ordering to accept WIC and SNAP through EBT payment
- Proactively ensure compliance with the Labor Code and AB 5 and ensure a mechanism where food and grocery delivery drivers and shoppers can access state benefits with proof of hours worked on a platform if need be
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at (714) 670-5580.