The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration is using its existing Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATDs) standard on which to base interim safety guidelines. The agency recognizes the significant risks faced by health care workers who become exposed to patients infected by the coronavirus. This safety standard requires California employers to protect employees from pathogens and diseases that are transmitted by droplets and aerosols that could cause workplace injuries or illnesses.
Although existing pneumococcal and influenza vaccines are not an effective treatment for the coronavirus, employers must provide vaccination immediately when a vaccine becomes available. Existing safety standards include the provision of adequate personal protective equipment, including respiratory protection. Appropriate methods of disposal of used PPE must be monitored and enforced.
Furthermore, health care workers must learn all about the risks posed by the 2019-nCoV, and also the symptoms and the various modes of transmission of this disease. Health care workers must also know the procedures in the event of exposure to coronavirus. Other workers at significant risk include those in the police services, public health services, first responders and laboratory workers.
California workers who fall victim to Aerosol Transmissible Diseases such as coronavirus could suffer long-term health problems. Dealing with workers’ compensation claims procedures could be overwhelming at such a difficult time. Fortunately, an attorney with experience in dealing with those who suffered workplace injuries and illnesses can take over the navigation of the benefits claims process, and work to obtain the maximum applicable benefits for the client.