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Archive of: 2018

  • 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 [] (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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  • Repeat Classifications: Fed/OSHA Can "Look Back" in Anger

    In an ideal world - or even a less imperfect one - employers could rely on a federal agency’s stated policies. But we now have more proof that employers who do so are bound to be disappointed.

    The Second Circuit of the federal Court of Appeals recently held that Fed/OSHA is not obligated to follow its own guidance to its inspectors in its Field Operations Manual (FOM, for you acronym phreaks). Specifically, Fed/OSHA was not bound by the guidelines for calculating the “look back” period for classifying a violation as repeat.

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