Valley Fever Institute

Contact Rob Purdie for more information:

Rob.purdie@kernmedical.com
(661) 489-5244

Now Offering Training

The Valley Fever Institute is uniquely equipped to offer Valley Fever education and training to not only comply with California Labor Code § 6709, but to implement best practices to protect the health of you and your employees. Our team, currently led by internationally recognized infectious disease expert, Royce H. Johnson, MD, has developed a robust curriculum and materials, derived from our unmatched Valley Fever clinical expertise and scientific research.

Our first focus is to prepare your company for the mandate with Valley Fever education and training as well as IIPP language to ensure compliance with the new standard.  Once your employees have completed the initial training, our programs will assist you in maintaining compliance as new directives and requirements emerge.

In addition to assisting you in completing the mandated training, we will be offering supporting materials and programs to ensure your company is compliant and maintains industry leading best practices. Education and training from the Valley Fever Institute will demonstrate your leadership and commitment to employee health and safety.

If you would like the Valley Fever Institute to provide training to your employees, please contact Rob Purdie at 661.489.5244 or rob.purdie@kernmedical.com.

About Mandatory Training

Assembly Bill No. 203 was signed into law on October 10th, 2019.  AB 203 added § 6709 to the California Labor Code which mandates Valley Fever training for employees working in specified counties by May 1st, 2020, annually thereafter, and before an employee begins work that is reasonably anticipated to cause a substantial dust disturbance.

Prior to AB 203, Cal/OSHA has issued citations for failing to prevent Valley Fever exposure in employees, and has done so recently even when no disease was found. While some of the citations have been successfully appealed, Cal/OSHA considers Valley Fever an occupational disease. In their July 2019 Occupational Health Watch, CDPH stated Valley Fever is a Work-Related Illness and indicated employers in areas where Valley Fever had been reported (all counties except Alpine, Modoc and Sierra in the last 5 years) should do the following:

  • Include Valley fever as a hazard in your Injury and Illness Prevention Program.
  • Plan projects to minimize dirt disturbance, and use water to keep dust down.
  • Train workers on ways to prevent exposure to dust and about the symptoms of Valley fever.
  • Provide enclosed cabs with filtered air for heavy machinery work.
  • Provide and ensure the correct use of respirators.
  • Refer workers with symptoms to physicians familiar with Valley Fever.
  • Report illness on Cal/OSHA 5020 form and 300 logs.

California Labor Code § 6709

Mandates annual Valley Fever Training for the following employers:

(b)   This section applies to a construction employer with employees working at worksites in counties where Valley Fever is highly endemic, including, but not limited to, the Counties of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura, where work activities disturb the soil, including, but not limited to, digging, grading, or other earth moving operations, or vehicle operation on dirt roads, or high winds. Highly endemic means that the annual incidence rate of Valley Fever is greater than 20 cases per 100,000 persons per year.

(f)     This section shall apply to an employer whenever employment exists in connection with the construction, alteration, painting, repairing, construction maintenance, renovation, removal, or wrecking of any fixed structure or its parts.

The bill also requires additional trainings:

(c)    …before an employee begins work that is reasonably anticipated to cause exposure to substantial dust disturbance. Substantial dust disturbance means visible airborne dust for a total duration of one hour or more on any day.

Translate »