Cal/OSHA Releases New COVID-19 Online Training Course

Cal/OSHA recently released a new online training video series on COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread in the workplace. The temporary emergency COVID-19 standard approved by Cal-OSHA went into effect on November 30, 2020. You can check out additional information on the new standard in our previous blog post here.

The new regulation applies to all employers except:

  • Employees working from home.

  • Employees working alone or in an area where they have no contact with other people.

  • Workplaces that are already covered by Cal-OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard.


Training requirements are a key element of the new emergency standard. Cal/OSHA requires employers to provide training that includes at minimum:

  • The employer’s policies and procedures to protect employees from COVID-19 hazards.

  • Information regarding COVID-19 related benefits to which the employee may be entitled.

  • The fact that COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can be spread through the air.

  • Methods of physical distancing of at least six feet and the importance of combining physical distancing with the wearing of face coverings.

  • The fact that particles containing the virus can travel more than six feet, especially indoors, so physical distancing must be combined with other controls.

  • The importance of frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Proper use of face coverings.


The new online training released by Cal-OSHA includes a module for workers and employers and both are in English and Spanish. The Cal-OSHA training site requires employees and employers to sign up to take the course and receive a certificate upon completion. The online learning offering is a part of Cal-OSHA’s Training Academy, which provides training courses, guidance documents, videos, and other helpful resources for California employers. The site also has numerous industry specific COVID-19 guidance documents for download, which Cal/OSHA offers to California employers for use as part of their overall training program. They note that use of the online training alone does not necessarily satisfy the training requirements of their standards and cannot be used alone to provide training. It is important to provide specific training to employees on company specific policies and procedures in addition to any on-line training platform.


Cal/OSHA Training Courses:

Information for workers about COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread at the workplace. COVID-19 is considered a hazard in most workplaces because the disease is widespread in the community. Workers, including employees, volunteers, temporary workers, independent contractors, and any other types of workers, are encouraged to take this course to better understand how COVID-19 spreads, what employers are required to do to protect workers, and what everyone can do to stay safe on the job and prevent the spread of this disease.

Workplace safety and health regulations in California require employers to take steps to protect workers exposed to infectious diseases like the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which is widespread in the community. This course provides information on COVID-19 and general guidance to protect workers and prevent the spread of this infectious disease in the workplace.

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Scott Rhymes
The Author
Scott Rhymes

Director of Risk Control Services, Newfront (Moderator)

As Newfront's Senior Risk Control Consultant, Scott provides risk control and safety consulting services, crafting and designing programs to lower the total cost of risk for Newfront's clients. Focusing on the overall safety systems and culture, Scott partners with clients to increase safety awareness and reduce occupational exposures. Scott is a regular guest speaker at local industry group meetings and university certificate programs.

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