On Thursday, September 15, 2022, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) issued guidance on protecting employees from monkeypox (the “Guidance”). The Guidance applies to workplaces covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Disease standard (the “ATD”) (Title 8 Code of Regulations Section 5199), including health care facilities, medical transport, police services, public health services, laboratories, and more.
What are Employers Required to Do?
The Guidance does not impose new obligations on covered employers, but rather reminds them of their already existing obligations under the ATD. Appendix A to the ATD classifies monkeypox as an aerosol transmissible pathogen or disease. As a result, the Guidance states that monkeypox is spread “primarily by close or direct contact” which can become airborne.
Under the ATD, employers have the following non-exhaustive list of obligations:
- Establish, implement, and maintain written procedures to reduce transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases.
- Provide employees with respiratory protection and other appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Implement written procedures to address exposure incidents.
- Ensure employees participate in the review of infection control procedures.
- Report the exposure to the local health officer.
Covered employers should note that there are different requirements for referring employers (i.e., employers who do not house and/or treat ATD patients), laboratories, and all other employers. Therefore, employers are advised to revisit their ATD programs to ensure their procedures and practices are ATD-compliant and sufficiently address occupational exposure to monkeypox.
For more information about what procedures and practices you should implement in your workplace to reduce the chances of monkeypox exposure, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.