Last year, to combat COVID-19, Gov. Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2537 (Rodriguez), which required all acute care hospitals to create and maintain a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) equal to three months of normal consumption. As the phrase “normal consumption” was undefined in the bill, this created significant confusion for hospitals.
To clarify, Cal/OSHA submitted emergency regulations on June 8 to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to define normal consumption. As currently drafted, the emergency regulation defines normal consumption as the average consumption of specified PPE type and size over a two-year period, with a 200% cap. The regulations, which include helpful examples for how to calculate the size of an appropriate stockpile, can be found on the Department of Industrial Relations website. The list of specified PPE includes N95 filtering facepiece respirators, surgical masks, isolation gowns, and shoe coverings.
Once OAL approves the emergency regulation, it will be in effect for 180 days. During that time, Cal/OSHA will begin the full regulatory process. CHA News will continue to publish updates on the regulatory process and timelines, including compliance guidance from Cal/OSHA.