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SB 96 Penalties Compliance Laws Aren’t Optional Anymore

7 Jul

Well, we have talked to you about California’s new regulations and deadlines previously. Now California has published a Budget Trailer Bill called SB 96 that went into effect on July 1, 2017 – and violations are also effective after July 1, 2017.

SB 96 adopts new, far higher penalties for general and regulatory violations of Cal/OSHA as well as repeat and willful violations. These penalties are based on mandates from the 2016-2017 Federal budget.

While Cal/OSHA penalties are the highest in the nation (much higher now than Federal OSHA General violations) they are most often issued for violations for written safety plans, (IIPPs), heat illness regs, and failure to report serious injuries (previously $7,000 are now increasing to $12,471).

SB 96 Penalties Apply to: Cal/OSHA Posting, Recordkeeping & Notice Requirements

This law also increases Minimum/Maximum Penalties For Repeat & Willful Violations:

  • The new Minimum is now $8.908
  • The new Maximum increases from $70,000 to $124,709 – a 78% increase
  • And, in January 1, 2018 the maximum penalties will increase again – caused by indexing with the Consumer Price Index, and annually thereafter.

In addition, this law states that “No person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee for reporting a work-related fatality, injury or illness or request access to occupational injury or illness reports.”

Penalties for serious violations other than repeat or willful violations are not included in this change  which requires issuing notice and a change to the California Code of Regulations (anticipated to occur in the coming months.)

Why Does All This Matter?

Every Employer Must Do These Things:   

1)    Review your Safety Practices – ensure you have:
  1. A current Illness & Injury Prevention Plan
  2. A current Heat Illness Prevention Plan (including employee safety training for outdoor employees)
  3. Regularly performing and keeping records of Hazard Inspections
  4. Written Records of Safety Training
2)    Review other Cal/OSHA Requirements, such as:
  1. Tractor or fork lift rules and training
  2. Hazardous communications plans and training

Additional Budget Trailer SB 96 Bill Provisions:

  • Extends the period from 60 days to one year for the Labor Commissioner to accommodate investigation of retaliation claims
  • Provides for attorney’s fees for the Labor Commissioner in prevailing in enforcement actions related to retaliation claims
  • Prohibits (with certain exceptions) employers from introducing as evidence in an administrative proceeding certain records that were not provided pursuant to a request by the Labor Commissioner
These Cal/OSHA regulations matter to every employer in California. Ignorance of them will not prevent your company receiving heavy fines for non-compliance. That’s why it is very important for employers to understand these laws and begin implementing programs in their company to avoid ALL Compliance problems.
Cal Work Safety understands the SB 96 Bill. Contact our team of experts…. We know the latest regulations and can help you implement internal programs to keep you compliant and safe from huge penalties.
Call: 949-533-3742 or email: DonDressler1@hotmail.com 
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A “NO Vote” on AB 2346 Heat Illness – A Job Killer of a Proposal

25 Jul

This August, the California State Senate is considering AB 2346- a JOB KILLER bill regarding heat illness. The bill goes beyond current heat illness regulations to impose the following obligations, but only on agricultural employers, not on construction, landscaping or any other out of doors work:

  1. Each employee shall have continuous, ready access, as
    close as possible and at a distance of no more than 10 feet from
    where he or she is working, to fresh, pure, and suitably cool potable
    drinking water
  2. “The temperature of the water shall be 70 degrees or lower at all times.”
  3. “Shaded area shall be located as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working, and in no event shall be at a distance greater than 200 feet away from any employee.
  4. The amount of shade provided shall be enough to accommodate all of the employees on the shift at any time

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