Gov. Inslee announces agriculture COVID-19 requirements

Governor Inslee has modified the provisions of Proclamation 20-25 applicable to essential workers and workplaces to prohibit any agricultural employer from continuing to operate beyond June 3, 2020, unless the employer complies with all provisions of the Agriculture COVID-19 requirements – Provisions for All Worksites and Work-Related Functions found at this link:

These requirements apply to orchards, fields, dairies and all other operations.  Below are some notable requirements:

  • PPE. Employers, operators and providers must supply, at no cost to employees, all PPE mandated by these requirements, including gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks. PPE must be clean and available each workday. Cloth facial coverings must be worn by every employee not working alone on the jobsite.
  • Physical Distancing. Employers, providers and housing operators must ensure physical distancing of six feet or more during all interactions within the scope of employment.
  • Workplace Disinfection. Employers must ensure that high-touch surfaces are disinfected prior to the start of each workday and before and after the morning, lunch and afternoon breaks. For employers with night shifts, the same frequency of disinfecting is required.
  • Handwashing Stations. Employers, housing operators and transportation providers must supply adequate handwashing stations at every location and at all times that employees are acting within the scope of their employment.
  • Use of Handwashing Stations. Employers must put in place adequate measures to ensure, at a minimum, that employees wash their hands for more than 20 seconds at certain intervals.
  • Educational Materials and Training. Employers must provide adequate educational materials, including workplace posters, and training to educate employees about the risks of COVID-19 and the required safety protocols. All educational materials must be provided in the language or languages the employees understand.
  • COVID-19 Response Plan. Employers are required to document and maintain a COVID-19 Response Plan.
  • Temperature check.  At the beginning of each day, employers must conduct a temperature check and review the symptom checklist with employees concerning themselves and their households.
  • Testing. To the extent feasible, employers must ensure timely access to COVID-19 tests for symptomatic employees and must provide transportation as needed.
  • Employee Rights. An employee may refuse to perform unsafe work, including work made unsafe by COVID-19 hazards. It is unlawful for an employer to take adverse action against an employee who has engaged in safety-protected activities under the law if the individual’s work refusal meets certain legal requirements.

Also, yesterday L&I filed emergency rules allowing them to fine businesses violating the Governor’s orders.  Fines can reach up to $10,000 for the following:

  • Employers must not allow employees to perform work where a business activity is prohibited by an emergency proclamation.
  • Employers must comply with all conditions for operation required by emergency proclamation, including Safe Start phased reopening requirements for all business and any industry specific requirements.

This emergency rule addresses circumstances where businesses are prohibited from operating or where there are restrictions operating or conducting business activities. This emergency rule ensures clarity that restrictions and conditions on business activities under the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order are also health and safety requirements and that employers can be subject to a citation and monetary penalties for violations.

Effective date: May 26, 2020
Expiration date: Sept 23, 2020

CR-103E Emergency Adoption

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