Heat Illness Prevention

25 Apr

April-Consultant-Masthead-Humberto

When it comes to preventing heat illness, employers with outdoor workers should not wait until it gets hot to review their procedures and ensure their training is effective. Workers should know the signs and symptoms of heat illness and what to do in case someone gets sick. Doing so helps prevent serious and fatal heat illnesses while working outdoors.

Heat illness is a serious hazard for people who work outdoors. Cal/OSHA’s investigates heat-related incidents and complaints of hazards at outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, landscaping and construction. These investigations ensure compliance with the Heat Illness Prevention Standard and the Injury and Illness Prevention Standard, which require employers to take the following basic precautions:

  1. Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention – before they start work.
  2. Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, or four 8-ounce glasses of water per hour and encourage them to do so.
  3. Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down. Shade structures must be in place upon request or when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Closely observe all employees during a heat wave and any employee newly assigned to a high heat area. Lighter work, frequent breaks or shorter hours help employees who have not been working in high temperatures adapt to the new conditions.
  5. Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention standard, including plans on how to handle medical emergencies and steps to take if someone shows signs or symptoms of heat illness. This includes how to direct emergency responders to the work site if an employee experiences heat illness.

CalWorkSafety conducts training and assists with writing the required Heat Illness Prevention Plan, required at each out door work site to ensure compliance with the heat illness prevention standard and that outdoor workers have access to the water, rest and shade that keeps them healthy.

The most frequent heat-related violation that Cal/OSHA cites during enforcement inspections is failure to have an effective written heat illness prevention plan specific to the worksite. Serious heat-related violations are often related to inadequate access to water and shade, and to a lack of supervisor and employee training. Failure to have a copy of the Heat Illness Prevention Plan at the work site prompts citation.

Additional information about heat illness prevention are posted on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention page. Cal/OSHA also has extensive multilingual materials for employers, workers and trainers on its Water. Rest. Shade. public awareness campaign website.

Cal/OSHA Multi-Lingual Employee/Trainer Materials: Water/Rest Shade
Learn More About: Heat Illness
Helpful Guide: Quick Card

As of April 1st Employers Must Post New or Updated Notices & Pamphlets

11 Apr
April-Ca Update Notice
California employers covered by either the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) or the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) are required and must be posted  – new Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave.

Previously
, the notice was named the Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA Leave) and Pregnancy Disability notice, and only employers covered by the CFRA – employers with 50 or more employees – had to post it.

Now
, employers with 20 to 49 employees must post the new notice in their workplaces and employers with 50 or more employees must update their existing notice.

The new 2019 all-in-one California and Federal Labor Law poster  includes all 18 state & federal employment notices every California employer must post, including the new Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave notice. If any mandatory updates occur in 2019, employers will automatically receive a replacement poster at no additional cost.


Revised Pamphlets
The Employment Development Department (EDD) has updated two pamphlets that employers are required to give to employees at certain times: California Paid Family Leave and Disability Insurance Provisions. Employers must provide these pamphlets to new employees and to employees either taking a covered leave of absence or a non-work-related disability leave.

Both pamphlets have a new revision date of March 2019 and contain an additional paragraph offering participants in those programs the option of a debit card or check to receive their funds. Employers should always use the most current version of these pamphlets.

 
The CalWorkSafety Consultants Are Here to Help Clients
With all Questions or Concerns About These New Notices.
Contact Us to Help You Sort Out Your Options

 

Hiring: I-9 Rule Compliance Concerns

27 Mar

An increase in Form I-9 Audits amplifies 2019 U.S. employers’ hiring compliance concerns.

ICE is fully committed to ensuring that employers comply with I-9 employment eligibility verification requirements, which prove employees are legally allowed to work in the country. Violations can result in severe penalties for the employer and, in the case of undocumented workers, arrest or deportation of the employee.

 

Important Statistics

  • ICE inspections and audits have skyrocketed during the past two years, resulting in an unprecedented number of fines and arrests. Fines can range from $110 to $1,100 for errors such as not completing a form, but they increase dramatically for knowingly or continuing to employ unauthorized workers – up to $14,050 for each violation.
  • From 10-1-17 through 7-20-18, ICE and its Homeland Security Investigations arm conducted 6,093 investigations, made 675 criminal and 984 administrative worksite-related arrests.
  • In fiscal year 2017, companies were ordered to pay a total of $97.6 million in judicial forfeitures, fines and restitutions in addition to nearly $8 million in civil fines.
  • ICE’s intensified focus on enforcement is an attempt to create a culture of compliance among employers and deter illegal employment.
Anyone involved in hiring new employees should be prepared for an audit. In fact, you should conduct an internal I-9 audit to make sure everything is in line before ICE comes knocking. Doing so ensures you’ll be able to produce the documents ICE requests within the required timeframe; if you receive a Notice of Inspection (NOI) from ICE, you’ll be required to produce all I-9 forms and supporting documentation within three days.
  • Note: Audits are different from an ICE raid, in which agents show up at your business unannounced with a criminal search warrant. Either way, it’s important to be proactive and have documentation on all employees. CalWorkSafetyConsultants are available to conduct an I-9 Audit for your firm as part of our services.  We can also train your team to perform these audits – and we strongly recommend an audit be performed at least once a year.

I-9 Compliance Maintenance

  1. Designate a member of your HR team as the point person to become an expert on the employee eligibility verification process. This includes creating a process for accurate completion of the I-9 form and responsibility for maintaining it. If you’re a one-person shop, schedule time on a regular basis to educate yourself on proper procedure and to make sure paperwork is completed accurately.
  2. Train any employee who might handle I-9 forms on how to complete them properly as well as all anti-discrimination practices. HR professionals can look to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ employer handbookfor assistance.
  3. Develop a system to track the immigration status of employees and make certain re-verification is completed on time. You can do this manually … just realize that it is time consuming and labor intensive. If an employee fails to submit completed paperwork accurately or on time, it can mean your company is non-compliant. Thus, using an automated system lets you enter I-9 information, provide employment authorization confirmation while also alerting you to any potential shortcomings.
  4. For businesses with remote employees, remember that work authorization documents must be reviewed in person. A scan or photocopy that’s emailed won’t work. You need to make sure any new hires who telecommute are aware of this policy and both of you are prepared to complete the I-9 process properly.
  5. It’s also crucial that you or your point person knows howto correct errors or omissions and what to do with incomplete or outdated I-9s.

Employer Takeaways

  • Be ready for an audit at any time.
  • If you receive a NOI, you’ll have only three days to produce the necessary paperwork.
  • It’s much easier to stay ahead of the game by verifying compliance with every new hire and re-verifying – as required – than to play catch-up during those three days.
  • You NEVER want to put your company at risk for any penalties, fines or physical removal of employees.
Employers are now under intense scrutiny to ensure employees are working legally and that company practices are compliant. Compliance failure can threaten the growth of a business and sometimes its very existence.

 

Cal/OSHA March Compliance Obligation Looms!

27 Feb

2019 Fed OSHA Filing Obligation Looms

Employer’s compliance deadline to electronically
submit OSHA Form 300A data is March 2, 2019.
CalWorkSafety’s consultants stand ready to assist with your company’s Record Keeping & Notice to Cal/OSHA compliance reports … both are Federal OSHA obligations.

CalWorkSafety, LLC Consultants Assist
You In Preparing for OSHA Compliance
To Prevent Citations & Fines Amounting to $12,000+
We Visit Your Operation …
Audit Your OSHA Injury Records …
Roll It into Your Retainer Agreement with Us!

To Schedule Your OSHA Records Audit
email: dondressler1@hotmail.com
http://www.calworksafety.com

CAL/OSHA’S DEMAND FOR FIVE YEARS OF RECORDS IS VERY REAL

13 Feb

Cal OSHA-Files 5 Yrs-Files girl - Copy

Cal/OSHA has issued an internal memo which instructs compliance officers – during every inspection – to request Employer’s records of work injuries – Log 300, 301 and 300A for the previous five calendar years.

You can become the subject of a Cal/OSHA inspection based on having had a serious injury; having a workers’ comp. Ex Mod of 125+; being the subject of a complaint by an employee, former employee or even a competitor; operating in a hazardous industry or merely subject of a drive by or random inspection.

No matter why Cal/OSHA visits your operation, you must be ready. As you will see, you can receive two or even three citations just based on your OSHA injury files – which imposes a $12,000 maximum fine per citation.

 

Cal/OSHA Inspector Guidelines:
  • Guidelines apply to all inspections opened on or after 1/01/19
  • Inspectors will request Log 300s and related records (301, 300A)
    for the previous five calendar years (for example, during calendar
    year 2019, request Log 300s and related records (301, 300A) for 2014-2018.)
  • Records must be provided within four (4) hours.
  • Issue Citations for:
    • 14300.33 (a) if not having retained the five-years of records created
    • 14300.29 (b) if injuries that are not on the form are found
    • Other 14300 sections, addressing requirements on how
      the forms must be completed, if finding violations of these sections
    • 14300.33 (b)(1) if finding evidence that Log 300 entries should
      have been updated and were not.
CalWorkSafety, LLC Consultants Assist

You In Preparing for OSHA Compliance

To Prevent Citations & Fines Amounting to $12,000+
We Visit Your Operation …
Audit Your OSHA Injury Records …
Roll It into Your Retainer Agreement with Us!
To Schedule Your OSHA Records Audit

Important Notice for Employers: Change In OSHA Record keeping Rule

1 Feb
Feb-Masthead
On January 25, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register its revisions to its electronic record keeping rules. As expected, OSHA eliminated the requirement for employers to electronically submit Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA. The rule, located at 29 C.F.R. Section 1904.41, still requires employers in the following two categories to electronically submit Form 300A (Annual Summary) to OSHA annually:

 

  1. Establishments with 250 or more employees
  2. Establishments with 20-249 employees in industries designated by OSHA.
Employers need to be aware that the 2018 summary needs to be posted Feb. 1 through April for all establishments with 10 or more employees and those with over 250 employees and with 20 to 249 employees in selected industries need to post on line electronically as well.

 

CalWorkSafety consultant Edward Li assists employers with compliance issues.

NOTE: 

Now is an excellent time to plan a brief safety training for all supervisors and managers and review the company’s OSHA 300 A form, what it means, as well as the obligations of all supervisors and managers for OSHA safety compliance.

Our CalWorkSafety, LLC team is here to help.  We highly recommend that you review our new Leadership Courses Training Flier

This New Law Isn’t Optional!
The CalWorkSafety team offers effective
hands-on support to Employers dealing with
2019 Important New Regulations.
To learn more email: dondressler1@hotmail.com
Call:  949-533-3742

California Regulation Stipulates – All Time Worked Must Be Paid, Even If It’s Only Minutes

23 Jan

jan-19-header

Situation: Our nonexempt employees answer texts and calls after-hours.
Question: Is this ‘work time’ and how much would we pay for a 5-minute call?

Yes, in most instances, answering short calls, texts, and emails would meet
the definition of hours worked found in the Industrial Welfare Commission
Orders, Section 2:

“Hours worked” means the time during which an employee is
subject to the control of an employer, and includes all the time
the employee is suffered or permitted to work, whether or not
required to do so.”

De Minimis Time

These small increments of time are difficult to track and frequently are disregarded as “de minimis” time that is insignificant. In fact, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to disregard small amounts of time as de minimis time. Disregarding these small increments is no longer advisable in California.

California Law

In 2018 the California Supreme Court held that the de minimis rule has not been adopted by California laws. According to the court, don’t allow employees to routinely work for minutes off the clock without being paid-because California labor laws require pay for “all hours worked.”

Even when the time is hard to track, time records should reflect all time worked, including any time worked after an employee’s regular hours. Develop a policy advising employees how to report all off-the-clock work time.

When it is not necessary that employees answer after-hours calls, employers may prohibit employees from working off the clock. Have a clear policy advising employees not to make calls or respond to any inquiries or to perform any off-the-clock work. It is good practice to train managers to refrain from contacting employees before or after their shift. Managers also should review time records and confirm that employees are following the policy. When employees happen to work in violation of your policy, be sure to pay for the time. Disciplinary action is an option.

Are your supervisors and managers aware of important employment laws such as recording and paying for all work time? Have you trained them recently?

CalWorkSafety, LLC has the experienced training and human
resources personnel to help you develop the leadership,
management and supervisory skills to help you comply
with the law and enhance employee productivity.

The Bottom Line:
This New Law Isn’t Optional!
The CalWorkSafety team offers effective
hands-on support to Employers dealing with
2019 Important New Regulations.
To learn more email: dondressler1@hotmail.com
Call: 949-533-3742