A new California law requires that businesses in 11 counties include training for employees notifying them of the increased risks of exposure to Coccidioides fungi. This particular fungus causes respiratory infection commonly called Valley fever. Employees of construction companies and other outdoor occupations are at a greater risk of exposure to the spores of the fungi. Training must begin by May 1, 2020, for employees of companies identified as being at higher risk. After the first training, employees must be given training annually and must include the following details.
- Details of what the disease is and how people contract it
- The kinds of environments that result in higher risks of exposure
- Conditions that a person may have that puts them at higher risk, such as pregnancy, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders
- How to reduce risks on a worksite
- How to monitor for the disease to catch it early, as well as the symptoms
- Seeking immediate medical attention and notifying the employer to reduce risks to other employees
- Treatment options
The following are the first 11 counties that must include this training:
- San Joaquin
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Barbara
It is likely that other counties will be added to the list during the year.
For more details on available materials, industries that are included, and what conditions will be used to determine what other counties will be added, check out the article in EHS Daily Advisor.