COVID-19 Training Requirements by State

Posted on 2/1/2022 by Roger Marks and Lauren Scott

As US businesses re-open in the coming weeks, it is critical that employees know how to protect themselves and co-workers from exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Like all workplace hazards, infectious diseases like COVID-19 must be addressed under the OSH Act.

In the absence of a single Federal standard for COVID-19 training, state safety agencies, legislatures, and governors’ offices have released regulations, policies, and guidance that require employers to provide employee training on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and how to prevent workplace exposure.

While each state’s policy is unique, they include common elements. Employees must have COVID-19 training that prepares them to, at a minimum:  
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Describe how COVID-19 is transmitted
  • Follow best hygiene and work protocols to prevent exposure
  • Properly use and care for PPE and face coverings
Just launched! The COVID-19 Employee Safety Awareness online course prepares employees to protect themselves and co-workers from exposure to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the workplace.

COVID-19 Training Requirements by State

Lion continues to monitor state registers, governor’s offices, and reliable news sources to bring you the latest on COVID-19 training requirements in each state. See something we missed? Email and we will add it to our list.

California (Cal/OSHA) requires employers not subject to the State's Aerosol Transmissable Disease (ATD) Standard to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 prevention program, effective 11/30/2020. The emergency standards are expected to appear in the Injury and Illness Prevention and Protection Program (8 CCR §3205-3205.4).

Update 06/05/2021: On June 3, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to adopt revised Emergency Temporary Standards to protect workers from exposure to COVID-19. 

Connecticut requires training for all employees, including managers and owners, in required hygiene and protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additional training may be required for “Front Line” employees who deal directly with customers.

Illinois requires that “all workers must complete a health and safety training related to COVID-19 when initially returning to work” under its Phase 4: Revitalization plan.

Kentucky requires entities to meet minimum requirements before re-opening, including to educate and train employees. (Healthy at Work, paragraph 14). Entities in Kentucky that remained open were required to meet these minimum requirements before May 10, 2020.

Massachusetts created standards for all re-opening workplaces that include “training for employees regarding the social distancing and hygiene protocols.” Reopening: Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces.  

Michigan requires all business or operations whose employees leave their homes for work to provide COVID-19 training for employees under Executive Order 2020-161.

Minnesota requires all workers to be trained on protocols and practices regarding COVID-19 exposure (Preparedness Plan Requirements Guidance—General, updated July 29, 2020)

New Jersey requires the State Department of Labor and Workforce Developement to provide training to all employers on new COVID-19 safety standards established in Executive Order 192.

New Mexico requies employers to "Train all employees on daily cleaning and disinfecting protocol, hygiene, and respiratory etiquette..."  All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers, page 9

New York requires employers to develop a written COVID-19 Safety Plan and provide relevant employee training, including training to properly use personal protective equipment (PPE) under the NY Forward Statewide Guidelines.

Update 04/21/2021: The NY State Legislature passed the Hero Act on April 20. If signed into law, the bill would authorize the State Labor and Health Departments to create an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan, which employers would have to adopt or establish a similar standard for their businesses.

Oregon's Final Rule to protect workers from exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in the workplace was revised to add two new temporary administrative orders to revise its mask requirements on August 13. The Final Rule contains four key deadlines for employers. Read the Final Rule.

Rhode Island requires that “all employees shall be trained to follow the standards and requirements” of the state’s Safe Activities By Covered Entities During the COVID-19 Emergency (216-RICR-50-15-7.4.1(A)(1)(i))

Texas requires employers to “train all employees and contractors on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.” See the checklist for employers in the state’s Minimum Standard Health Protocols revised on July 2, 2020.

Virginia requires COVID-19 training for employees returning to work (16 VAC 25-200 §80).The state authorized permanent COVID-19 workplace standards on January 13, 2021. The permanent standards are expected to go into effect before January 26, 2021.  

Vermont requires that all employees, including those already working (with exceptions) must complete a mandatory training on health and safety requirements as provided by VOSHA, or another training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard. Addendum II to Executive Order 01-20
Washington state’s Department of Labor & Industries requires that employers provide “basic workplace hazard education about coronavirus and how to prevent transmission…” Start Safe Requirements for All Employers.

**We continue to monitor sources for additional information about state programs and will add to this list as more information is available. If you don't see your state on the list, check with state health and safety authorities to see if COVID-19 training is required for your staff. 

New Course: COVID-19 Employee Safety Awareness

The new COVID-19 Employee Safety Awareness online course will help satisfy state-level employee information and COVID-19 training requirements. 

Employees who complete this course will be ready to: 
  • Recognize signs, symptoms, and risk factors of COVID-19 
  • Describe how the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus is transmitted
  • Use general hygiene and work practices that limit COVID-19 exposure
  • Use and care for personal protective equipment (PPE) when required 
The course run time is one hour and employees can complete it 100% online, at their own pace. Each employee who completes this course receives a Certificate employers can use as part of employee training records to help satisfy OSH Act responsibilities and state-level COVID-19 training mandates. 

Tags: coronavirus training, COVID-19 training, novel coronavirus training, SARS-CoV-2

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