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Archive of: 2011

  • "They Hate You"

    California employer advocate Fred Walter discusses his firm’s approach to client services and OSHA defense.

    Comments: 2

  • Alternatives to Cal/OSHA's 1BY

    We have blogged twice now about our concerns that Cal/OSHA’s new 1BY form is a trap for the unwary, designed more as an enforcement tool than a true invitation to “dialogue” with employers before serious citations are issued. But to recap, why are we concerned about the 1BY form?

    Comments: 2

  • Who Is A “Bad” Employer?

    New Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess recently took a victory lap in an e-mail to her employees celebrating the accomplishments of her first 100 days. As you would expect, her catalog of victories was long on rhetoric and short on accomplishments. To give her some credit, she is hampered by Governor Brown’s prohibition against hiring and travel. Hard to run a state agency with only one of those restrictions, let alone both.

    Comments: 1

  • Reporting Serious Injuries to OSHA

    About 20 minutes into an employers’ seminar about getting ready for OSHA, we say something like “Now, let’s talk about reporting serious injuries to OSHA”. This is followed by few moments of people looking like a highschool class reacting to an announcement of a pop quiz on Monday morning. When the mounting tension has built to uncomfortable level, we ask if the group is aware of this requirement. Usually about 10 percent of the crowd raises their hands.

    Comments: 1

  • SB 829: Such A Lovely Place

    Any employers interested in starting a business in California should stick in their ear buds, put the Eagles’ “Hotel California” on continuous loop and settle in to read Senate Bill 829. As last year’s Assembly Bill 2774 was a game-changer for employers and Cal/OSHA, this bill turns the Appeals Board’s world upside down.

    Comments: 0

  • One OSHA

    One OSHA, one seamless entity in federal and state-plan jurisdictions from Maine to Arizona, speaking with one voice when defining hazards and enforcing regulations. That was the dream the Obama Administration’s new OSHA team announced at last year’s meeting of the American Bar Association’s OSHA Committee in San Diego.

    Comments: 0

  • New Chair of The Cal/OSHA Appeals Board: Art Carter

    The Queen is … well, not dead, but deposed. Long live the King!

    What a turn-around! From expired Member to Chair in less than a week. Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to elevate Carter was not a surprise – you can’t be vilified by both Cal/OSHA and the unions and expect to remain Queen of the hill – but the interim between Carter being termed out and his new appointment did allow for some gossip and wagering in the Division and the “regulated community.”

    Comments: 0

  • 1BY: A Set-Up for Failure... But Whose?

    Indeed it would. But that seems to be where we are headed. Achieving Cal/OSHA Chief Len Welsh’s grand vision of fewer, more defensible, “serious” citations through AB 2774, and especially through the use of the new 1BY form, will depend in great part on the integrity of Welsh’s inspectors. Only when employers and their advisors are confident that their explanations will be thoughtfully considered, and not used as a card in a game of “gotcha,” will they be likely to offer candid – or any – responses.

    Comments: 2

  • Working With Your Workers' Compensation Carrier's Loss Control Consultants

    Every business person knows to take advantage of the resources that are already available – particularly the ones that won’t cost you any more than you’re already paying. The challenge, sometimes, is in identifying what your resources are.

    Comments: 2

  • Sea of Change at Cal/OSHA Spells Rough Water for Employers – An Introduction

    Workplace accident rates across the nation are dropping, even after unemployment rates are factored out of the data. In plain terms, fewer workers are getting hurt on the job, which means that employers should be congratulated, right?

    Comments: 0

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