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Compliance with COVID-19-related Cal/OSHA, other regulations: CDA resources can help

March 09, 2021 6089

Dentists have contacted CDA Practice Support with questions about a letter they received from the California Department of Industrial Relations that provides “a list of critical requirements related to COVID-19” that may apply to the business owner and workplace. Those requirements span Cal/OSHA, the Labor Commissioner’s Office and the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

The letter states that the DIR “will take action if an employer is found to be in violation of the law.”

CDA’s Clinical Care Workgroup, which was formed in April 2020 to assist dentists in getting back to practice safely during the pandemic, published several resources over the last year that can help dentists comply with the requirements outlined in the DIR letter, including the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards.

Three key CDA resources to assist with Cal/OSHA and public health compliance are:

  • COVID Addendum to IIPP: In lieu of developing a newly written prevention program for COVID-19, dentists can use this customizable COVID-19 prevention plan as an addendum to the practice’s current injury and illness prevention plan. The addendum is intended to comply with the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 prevention regulations. The addendum covers risk assessment of work areas and tasks; identification and evaluation of exposures to COVID-19 health hazards; accommodation for employees with conditions that put them at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness; infection-prevention training for employees; and other required elements.
  • Reporting Symptoms, Exposure or Positive Test for COVID-19: Dentists can use this form to track employees’ symptoms of, exposure to, or positive test for COVID-19, as required by the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 prevention regulations. Specifically, employers must provide COVID-19 testing to workers who are exposed to the coronavirus at the workplace and notify their local public health department when outbreaks or multiple COVID-19 infections occur at the worksite. The form includes all the required reporting tracking and reporting elements and instructions for completing them.
  • Required Notice of Potential Exposure to COVID-19: This resource explains what employers must do to comply with the requirement to provide, within one business day, written notice to employees of potential exposure to COVID-19. The notice must include specific information, including employee leave options and the business’s antiretaliation and anti-discrimination protections for employees. A downloadable “notice of exposure” template is included.

The DIR letter also reminds California employers that workers who have COVID-19 symptoms are eligible for paid sick leave and may use paid sick leave for themselves or a family member’s diagnosis, care or treatment of a health condition or for preventive care. Employers must display a notice of paid sick leave in a place where it can be read easily in the workplace. 

Finally, to help members comply with Senate Bill 1159 signed last September by Gov. Gavin Newsom, CDA published “California employers have COVID-19 reporting obligations to determine workers’ compensation presumption.” The article defines “disputable presumption of COVID-19 injury” and outlines the employer reporting requirements. Reporting assistance is available for The Dentists Insurance Company policyholders.

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