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Archive of: OSHA News

  • Turmoil in Cal/OSHA

    This week’s lead article in the Cal-OSHA Reporter was eye popping.

    Whenever a worker dies on the job, or whenever an Enforcement inspector thinks an accident has been caused by criminal misconduct, Cal/OSHA’s Bureau of Investigations (called BOI) is required to look for evidence of violations by the employer or supervisors of criminal statutes found in the Labor Code, not in the Penal Code. This mandate does not arise from just Cal/OSHA’s regulations. BOI’s charter was enshrined by the Legislature in California Labor Code section 6315(a).

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  • The Nine Rules of Cal/OSHA Inspections

    It’s no surprise, and we are not offended, that we have never been invited to sit in on any of Cal/OSHA’s training sessions. But over the combined four decades that we have been reviewing inspection files and representing employers at hearings we have been able to identify some of the main points that inspectors must be taking away from their classes on how to perform inspections, to conduct interviews and to write citations.
     

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  • Now Everybody's HIPP to It!

    The definition of "outdoor place of employment" in California's heat illness regulation [https://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/3395.html] (known as HIPP to those hip to it) was, depending on your viewpoint, affirmed last week by the California Court of Appeals First Circuit to protect workers reasonably expected to be exposed to outdoor heat, or expanded exponentially to reach employers who would never otherwise consider themselves to have outdoor work places.
     

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  • CA Supreme Court OK's Civil Penalties for Employers Beyond Cal/OSHA Penalties

    The California Supreme Court has found that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act does not prevent the state from seeking civil penalties against employers for safety violations in addition to any penalties which Cal/OSHA may assess.
     

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  • Cal/OSHA's New Penalty Schedule: The Other Shoe Has Dropped

    Cal/OSHA's New Penalty Schedule, New Penalty Scheme

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  • The Past Is A Foreign Country

    While it’s nice to know we got our predictions of who Trump might appoint as Secretary of Labor partially right ( see our November 19, 2016 blog "Trump Won. So What?), we’re still on tenterhooks awaiting word on his appointee to the post of Asst. Sec’y Labor for OSHA.

     

     

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  • Will Repeats Become The New Normal

    Starting New Year’s Day, changes to the definition and scope of Cal/OSHA’s Repeat classification will change dramatically. But there will be some lag time between adoption and implementation. Time which should be spent bullet-proofing your safety program.

    Effective January 1, 2017 a citation can be classified as “Repeat” when the employer has “abated or indicated abatement of” an earlier violation for which a citation was issued, but the Division finds during a later inspection occurring within five years following the date that the earlier violation became final that the employer has committed a violation of ”a substantially similar” regulation anywhere in the state. The subsequent violation must be found to involve “essentially similar conditions or hazards.”

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  • Trump Won. So What?

    The early money on who will be the new Secretary of Labor under President Trump is going to three people: Victoria Lipnic, a Republican appointed by President Obama to the EEOC and Asst. Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush; Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants (Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s); and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. 

     

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  • When is a Roof Just a Roof?

    It was not a matter of harmless semantics when Cal/OSHA threatened to shut a job down in Oakland during October, 2012. That job was a 12-story hospital near completion. The point of contention was access to and egress from the roof of the building.

     

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  • Cal/OSHA Confined by New Confined Space Rules

    Fed/OSHA is in a rush to accomplish all it can before the curtain closes on the Obama Administration. Among their last-minute adoptions are new mandatory rules for permit-required confined spaces (PRCS) on construction sites. And Cal/OSHA was only too eager to assist by swallowing them whole with little thought to how they would work in conjunction with the pre-existing PRCS rules found in the General Industry Safety Orders (GISO), the Telecommunication Orders, and the Electrical Orders. 

    The new construction rules are complex and have been in effect since December 30, 2015, They almost wholly address confined spaces on multi-employer work sites. Funny thing is, the GISO confined space regulations also proscribe procedures to be followed on multi-employer work sites.

     

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