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October 10, 2016

Cal/OSHA Schedules Advisory Committee Meeting On Condoms For Nov. 10

OAKLAND, Calif.—It may seem like déjà vu all over again, but the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (aka Cal/OSHA) has scheduled an "advisory committee" for Nov. 10 at the Elihu Harris State Building, 1515 Clay St., Oakland, to discuss the two petitions currently pending before the Cal/OSHA Standards Board; one, Petition 557, filed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and the other, Petition 560, filed by Free Speech Coalition, both relating to changes in the California Health Code Sec. 5193 regarding blood-borne pathogens. The meeting is a follow-up to the Standards Board meeting of Aug. 18, held in Walnut Creek, Calif., which was attended by at least 50 adult industry members and supporters, and which ended with the Board failing to adopt suggested changes to Sec. 5193, which were styled as a new section of the Health Code, Sec. 5193.1. At that time, it was announced that a new "advisory committee," which apparently would be distinct from the Standards Board itself, would be empaneled to implement further discussion on the dueling petitions, one of which (AHF) advocates adopting the new standard, and the other (FSC) advocates a comprehensive regimen of testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis and voluntary barrier use, among other harm-reduction methods. Of note: the meeting is scheduled for two days after the presidential election, during which Californians will be voting on Proposition 60, sponsored by AIDS Healthcare President Michael Weinstein, which would not only mandate that condoms and other "barrier protections" be used in adult content production, but would also allow private citizens to sue adult producers and others if they discovered content that did not use the mandated barriers. The proposition would also install Weinstein in a lifetime job as essentially California's "porn czar." The outcome of the Prop 60 vote is likely to figure heavily into the planned meeting. In fact, the proximity of the election is one of the reasons cited by Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Eric Paul Leue in his letter to Cal/OSHA's Steven C. Smith asking that the date be changed. "This notice arrives far too late for our stakeholders—this is too short notice," Leue stated in his letter to Smith dated today. "With the elections taking place on November 8th, and Veteran's day being November 11th, November 10th is not a date that will be doable at all. In addition—our workers book their schedules more than a month in advance, as a lot of it also requires travel."

 
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