The Governor enacted 870 bills this legislative season, so we thought we would take this opportunity to highlight those bills related to health and safety that will take effect this coming January or have already been enacted:

AB 203 – Occupational Safety and Health: Valley Fever
Requires that employers with construction operations in counties where Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) is highly endemic provide training to all employees by May 1, 2020 and annually thereafter. Where “highly endemic” is defined as having an incidence rate of greater than 20 cases per 100,000 persons per year. For information on 2018 California valley fever incidence rates click here.

AB 1804 - Occupational Injuries and Illnesses: Reporting
Existing law requires employers to report serious injury, illness, or death immediately through established forms of communication. This bill will require employers to report through an online mechanism established by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health. An online mechanism is not currently available, employers should continue to report by telephone or email until it becomes available.

AB 1805 - Occupational Safety and Health
Revises the definition of “serious injury or illness” in the workplace to remove the 24-hour minimum time requirement for inpatient hospitalization, for reasons other than medical observation or tests. Also updates the definition of “serious exposure” to include exposure to a hazardous substance that could realistically cause death or serious physical harm.

SB 778 – Employers: Sexual Harassment Training: Requirements (Effective 8/30/19)
Clean up legislation that extends the compliance deadline of last year’s SB 1343 to January 1, 2021. The requirement to provide harassment prevention training to both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees is still required, this just allows employers more flexibility with implementing the new requirements. The EIA has partnered with TargetSolutions to offer an online harassment training solution.

Cal/OSHA – Protection from Wildfire Smoke Standard (Effective 7/18/19)
Adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB), requires employers to take steps to protect employees from harmful exposure to wildfire smoke. Applies to workplaces where the Air Quality Index (AQI) for particulate matter in the air, known as PM 2.5, is 151 or greater. For more on this regulation, please read our Risk Control Blog - Emergency Wildfire Smoke Rule.