CHA assists hospital environmental health and safety (EH&S) officers and other hospital personnel regarding compliance with the many — and frequently overlapping — state and federal EH&S requirements, including those related to managing medical, hazardous and low-level radioactive waste. CHA also monitors EH&S legislation and regulation on behalf of hospitals and acts as their liaison with government agencies.
CHA assists hospital environmental health and safety (EH&S)
officers and other hospital personnel regarding compliance with
the many — and frequently overlapping — state and federal
EH&S requirements, including those related to managing
medical, hazardous and low-level radioactive waste. CHA also
monitors EH&S legislation and regulation on behalf of
hospitals and acts as their liaison with government
CHA reminds members that the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic
Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) requires hospitals and
other businesses to post warning signs about potential exposure
to certain chemicals. Beginning Aug. 30, the
required content of the signs changed. Previously, the signs
were not required to list any specific chemicals but now must
inform consumers and employees of at least one specific chemical
to which they may be exposed in the area.
Each sign must also include a symbol consisting of a black
exclamation point in a yellow equilateral triangle with a bold
black outline; if no color is used in printing, then black and
white is acceptable. Many commercial vendors sell these signs.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued the
attached All Facilities Letter 18-39, which addresses Legionella
risks in health care facility water systems. Hospitals, critical
access hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities must develop and
adhere to policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth
in building water systems, in order to reduce the growth and
spread of Legionella and other pathogens in water. CDPH directs
guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services, which clarifies expectations and notes that facilities
Conduct a facility risk assessment to identify where
Legionella and other pathogens could grow and spread.
Develop and implement a water management program.
Specify testing protocols and document testing results.
Comply with other federal, state and local requirements.
CHA reminds hospitals that
new regulations related to Proposition 65 and warnings that
must be publicly posted take effect Aug. 30. Failure to comply
could subject hospitals to potential penalties of up to $2,500
per day, per violation. The new regulations specify separate safe
harbor warnings based on the types of listed chemicals, the
number of listed chemicals and the methods of transmission. They
also significantly revise the required content, including adding
The name of at least one listed chemical that prompted the
The Internet address for the Office of Environmental Health
Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) new Proposition 65 warnings
which includes additional information on the health effects of
listed chemicals and ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to them
A triangular yellow warning symbol on most warnings
A new series of workshops presented by the California Air
Resources Board (CARB) will share draft language and concepts for
proposed regulations related to toxic emissions reporting. The
regulations, required by Assembly Bill 617 (Chapter 136, Statutes
of 2017), are intended to support certain CARB programs —
including the Community Air Protection Program, established by AB
617, and the Air Toxics Hot Spots Program — as well as state
implementation plans, air toxic control measures and monitoring
studies. Workshops will be held in July and August throughout the
state. A full list of dates and locations, as well as
registration information, is
The Federal Communications Commission requires television
stations to notify health care facilities within their service
area when they change the frequency on which they transmit,
because such changes can affect hospitals’ wireless monitoring
equipment. CHA has received the attached notice from Widelity
— a company retained by KRNS-CD television station in Reno,
NV — to make the required notifications that the frequency on
which it transmits will change. Widelity is one of a few
organizations along with select television stations that will
notify health care facilities in their coverage of similar
changes over the next three years.
While many hospitals no longer use television channels for
wireless monitoring or equipment, those that do will need to
move and retune equipment. Hospitals should work with the
manufacturer of their telemetry systems to determine which
channels and frequencies to use. Attached are a presentation that
includes a list of facilities in the Widelity region and an
overview of the process, as well as a list of California stations
that are or will be changing frequencies.
Intended to help the state better prepare for droughts and
climate change, the bills’ provisions:
Establish an indoor, per person water use goal of 55 gallons
per day until 2025, 52.5 gallons from 2025 to 2030 and 50 gallons
beginning in 2030.
Create incentives for water suppliers to recycle water.
Require both urban and agricultural water suppliers to set
annual water budgets and prepare for drought.
The legislation also includes a framework for the implementation
and oversight of the new standards.
“In preparation for the next drought and our changing
environment, we must use our precious resources wisely. We have
efficiency goals for energy and cars – and now we have them for
water,” said Gov. Brown.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a
new toolkit to prevent Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. The
toolkit builds off of ASHRAE 188: Legionellosis: Risk Management
for Building Water Systems.
The toolkit provides an easy-to-understand interpretation of
ASHRAE Standard 188, as well as worksheets, checklists and
scenarios of common water-quality problems. It also contains
special sections and considerations for health care facilities.