By Dr. Michael Payne, UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine and Director, CDQAP
CDQAP previously reported that Cal/OSHA was making “compliance assistance visits” to ag businesses related to COVID-19 worker safety. Reports from the field indicate that Cal/OSHA has recently shifted its emphasis from these educational efforts to actual compliance inspections. To protect employees and prevent citations for violation of worker safety, producers should review their coronavirus prevention program. Cal/OSHA released a comprehensive guidance for employers of livestock farms addressing COVID-19 worker safety, along with an abbreviated checklist. Producers are required to address face coverings, worker training, health screening, physical distancing, sanitation, and disease response. Tips on developing a written COVID-19 supplement to the dairy’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program or IIPP are available from CDQAP. Producers developing their worker safety program may find advice from their trade organization or insurance carrier. Some of the later have developed templates for a farm COVID-19 IIPP addendum.