As previously reported, Assembly Bill 2537 requires hospitals to maintain a stockpile equivalent to three months of normal consumption for specified personal protective equipment (PPE) as of April 1.
Based on the plain language of the statute and legislative history, CHA has advocated that the stockpile amount should be based on 2019 data. Unfortunately, at this point, Cal/OSHA has not agreed to that plain language reading and instead believes emergency rulemaking is necessary to define normal consumption.
As part of the pre-rulemaking discussions, Cal/OSHA has shared its concept that “normal consumption” for the purposes of determining the amount of the PPE stockpile is a rolling number based on the previous 24 months of PPE consumption. CHA strongly disagrees with this concept and has submitted written comments further explaining why the stockpile amount should be based on 2019 PPE consumption.
Cal/OSHA has scheduled an Advisory Committee meeting for Feb. 19 to get stakeholder input on this issue but has not yet posted any documents. Hospitals should monitor developments and encourage any stakeholders that may be interested in this issue to participate in the Advisory Committee meeting and/or submit written comments to Cal/OSHA before the Feb. 19 meeting. It is CHA’s understanding that Cal/OSHA intends to initiate emergency rulemaking shortly after Feb. 19, given that the stockpile requirement goes into effect on April 1.