Cal/OSHA to meet again on potential workplace rule changes throughout California

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will meet again Wednesday night to dicuss more rule changes for workplaces across California.

The board will consider new guidance from the California Department of Public Health with the state’s top health official, Dr. Mark Ghaly, clarifying that includes the state’s plan to follow the CDC beginning june 15, requiring vaccinated Californians to wear masks only in health care settings, indoors in K-12 schools, correctional facilities, emergency and homeless shelters and while on public transportation.

The update comes as Cal/OSHA continues to mull potential masking requirements for workers.

“We in no way are predisposing or pushing for one outcome over the other,” Dr. Ghaly said. “Like many independent boards that independence is important, we just hope from a public health angle to be able to provide the best guidance where we see the facts and details.”

The state Department of Industrial Relations did not have a comment Wednesday, noting regulations are pending at the Office of Administrative Law.

Those regulations were at the center of the board’s 10-hour-long meeting last week. The board approved new, controversial emergency temporary standards for workers and employers in California including mandatory masking at the workplace unless there is documentation all employees are vaccinated.

It also requires employers to provide N95 masks to employees.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled last week this specific rule is one that could change.

“A lot of employers are not in a position to afford N95 masks, we’re looking to modify that. That’s one of the many things that are happening in real-time, in deliberation we’re having in real-time,” he said.

The governor’s office confirmed Wednesday that discussions on workplace rules are ongoing.

A spokesperson said in part the office, “is hopeful the board will further revise its guidance to reflect the latest science while continuing to protect workers and balancing realistic and enforceable requirements for employers.”

But business leaders note the CDC guidance clashes with California’s potential workplace mask rules.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion on that and we need our state leaders to step up and help clarify,” said NFIB California Director John Kabateck.

After June 15 private businesses and local governments can also keep stricter rules in place if they want.

The board also has another meeting scheduled for next Thursday, June 17.

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