General Information

Pandemic H1N1 Update
Cal/OSHA issues updated interim guidance for aerosol transmissible disease standard

This week, Cal/OSHA issued updated Interim Enforcement Guidance on H1N1 and Section 5199, containing respirator-conserving measures and policies that bring Cal/OSHA into compliance with federal OSHA.

California’s Aerosol Transmissible Disease (ATD) standard, Title 8 CCR, Section 5199, took effect Aug. 5, 2009. Due to the H1N1 flu epidemic, on Sept. 8, 2009, Cal/OSHA issued an Interim Enforcement Policy to address the anticipated shortages of respirators for health care workers. Due to the release of state stockpiled respirators, Cal/OSHA guidance regarding respirator prioritization was rescinded Oct. 22, 2009. However, it was soon discovered that approximately 60 percent of respirators in the state stockpile did not reliably fit some health care workers. Therefore, the updated guidance addresses respirator-conserving measures.

In addition, on Nov. 20, 2009, federal OSHA issued Instruction 02-02-075, Enforcement Procedures for High to Very High Occupational Exposure Risk to 2009 H1N1 Influenza. State programs, including Cal/OSHA programs, are required to take equivalent action. Therefore, Cal/OSHA issued the updated guidance.

Changes in this guidance include:

  • Clarification of policies regarding redonning/reuse and extended use of filtering facepiece respirators, and documentation of shortages, to be consistent with the OSHA instruction.
  • Information about use of respirators provided from state and federal stockpiles.
  • Recordkeeping requirements for work-related H1N1 infections.
  • Clarification of vaccination requirements for health care workers as they apply to influenza this year.

For a copy of the Interim Enforcement Guidance on H1N1 and Section 5199, visit the Department of Industrial Relations website at