CA SB 1159 and CA AB 685 Are New Regulations for COVID-19 Compliance

10/19/2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CA SB 1159 and CA AB 685 have been introduced into law and will surely impact the experiences of both general contractors and construction workers.

What does CA SB 1159 require?

  • SB 1159 makes it possible for workers who contract COVID-19 while at work to claim workers’ compensation benefits. The law alsoencourages employers to follow the directions they receive from local healthofficials on how to safely reopen their businesses. According to thelegislation, the guidelines are instituted to help “reduce the risk ofexposure and mitigate outbreaks in the workplace.”

What does CA AB 685 require?

Covid testing on construction site
  • AB 685 requires employers to notify workers in the event they may have been exposed to people at the job site who were either infected or potentially infected with COVID-19. Also, a contractor needs to give written notice of the exposure to any unions that represent the worker who was or may have been exposed. The employer has to do this within one day of discovering that there was the potential for exposure.

How These Laws Impact the Construction Industry

California flag with covid written on it.
  • Regardless of the size of the project, many job sites have people coming and going constantly. They include contractors, subcontractors, workers, and inspectors.
  • Complying with these regulations is easier if you keep digital records. This would make the process of tracking down who the employee came in contact with relatively straightforward, which may be essential in establishing whether or not they actually contracted COVID-19 at your worksite, and if your project can remain open.
  • With SB 1159, it can be easy for workers to claim they were infected at the job site and consequently benefit from workers’ compensation. Usually, a worker would do this with the best intentions. However, accurate digital records must be kept regarding who enters and leaves the job site in case a worker tries to take advantage of the system.

The need for keeping accurate digital records with LinkedField is further underscored by the requirements of AB 685. A record of everyone who has signed in to the worksite over a given period of time will make it easier to reach out to the individual workers, those who may have been infected, and not just the company supervisors. With LinkedField, you can also provide digital notifications to each person who had been potentially exposed.

Keeping digital records can make complying with SB 1159 and AB 685 far easier, saving you time and energy in the process. Ultimately, complying with regulations can make general contractors, subcontractors and workers feel safer and more secure during this pandemic and after it passes.

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