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Protecting Health Care and Other Workers Serving Vulnerable Populations

Dear Friends and Allies,

Without question, the current coronavirus crisis shows the vital importance of workplace health and safety for all. California has long been a leader in occupational health and safety protections, thanks in large part to powerful organizing by health care workers and advocates throughout the state.

As such, California stands alone in the United States in having prepared for this moment through the careful creation of the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard in 2009. This important protection was a hard-fought victory in the campaign to defend our health care workers from transmissible diseases. It establishes a framework for protecting health care workers and patients, specifies the layers of protection needed to protect staff, and stipulates the need to plan for ‘surge’ situations. 

Unfortunately, we are hearing from nurses’ unions and other medical professionals that many hospitals have not implemented the ATD Standard well, and they are now wholly unprepared to shift gears to address the crisis of COVID-19.

In response, today Worksafe sent a letter to Governor Newsom and other state health leaders, urging them to take immediate steps to ensure that employers in healthcare and other care settings serving vulnerable populations fully implement the main provisions of the ATD standard while conserving respirators and protecting everyone's health.

Nurses and other health care workers have been there for us when we've needed them. Now they need us. We hope you can take a minute to learn about California’s ATD standard and sign the National Nurses United petition to support nurses nationwide (more info below). 

Worksafe is California’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the right to a safe and healthy workplace. We will be working diligently (from home) in the weeks and months ahead to support the health and safety of California workers during this unprecedented moment. 

Stay safe and healthy — we will get through this together. 

Stephen Knight
Executive Director

Photo by National Nurses United

Action Alert: Congress Must Do More to Protect Nurses

Nurses across the country report that they are not receiving proper staffing, personal protective equipment, education, and communication from their employers.

This is unacceptable at any time, and especially urgent now. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that the nation's nurses need more support to respond safely to this crisis.

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