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State Changes Serious-Injury Report Criteria, Moves to Eliminate Email Requests

17 Dec
Report of Work Injuiry

New laws that take effect at the start of 2020 will change how employers report accidents to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and revise the criteria for determining which serious job site occupational injuries, illnesses and deaths employers need to disclose.

Lawmakers during the 2019 session enacted AB 1804, which changes the reporting requirement and directs employers to immediately disclose incidents via telephone or through a new online portal created by Cal/OSHA. Employers may continue to send incident reports by email until the agency launches the new site.

The Legislature also enacted AB 1805, amending definitions that legislators argue will provide clarity to employers when reporting workplace injuries.

One amendment is the definition of “serious injury or illness.” The law removed the 24-hour minimum time requirement for qualifying hospitalizations in which an employee suffers the loss of a body part or suffers permanent disfigurement. This excludes stays for medical observation or diagnostic testing.

The law replaces “loss of any member of the body” with “amputation,” and includes the loss of an eye as a qualifying injury. AB 1805 also revises the definition of “serious exposure” by including that the exposure of an employee should create a “realistic possibility” — instead of the current “substantial probability” — of death or serious bodily harm.

The law eliminates the exclusion of an injury or illness caused by certain violations of the Penal Code, and narrows the inclusion of accidents on a public street or highway found to have occurred only in a construction zone.

CalWorkSafety, LLC can provide training for your supervisors and employees on this topic or other safety compliance issues.

Important Steps Employers Must Take To Ensure Air Quality Standards Are Met

30 Oct
bizman-fresh air-png
With wildfire season upon our state, employers may not be aware that they are responsible to monitor the air quality of their employees and protect their health and safety. It’s important because smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can harm health. The greatest hazard comes from breathing fine particles in the air (called PM2.5), which reduce lung function, worsen asthma and other existing heart/lung conditions, and causes coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Employers Responsibilities
  • Monitor Outdoor Air at your work place location (use websites)
  • If AQI PM2.5 reaches unhealthy levels (151 or more), employers must take the following steps to protect employees:
    • Communication – Inform employees of the AQI for PM2.5 and the protective measures available to them.
    •  Training – Train all employees on the information contained in Section 5141.1 Appendix B of CA Code of Regulations, Title 8.
    • Modifications – Implement modifications to the workplace, if feasible, to reduce exposure. Examples include providing enclosed structures or vehicles for employees to work in, where the air is filtered.
    • Changes – Implement practicable changes to work procedures or schedules. Examples include changing the location where employees work or reducing the amount of time they work outdoors or exposed to unfiltered outdoor air.
    • Respiratory Protection – Provide proper respiratory protection equipment, such as disposable respirators, for voluntary use.  To filter out fine particles, respirators must be labeled N-95, N-99, N-100, R-95, P-95, P-99, or P-100, and must be labeled as approved by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
    • If the AQI for PM2.5 exceeds 500, respirator use is required.
    • Employers must ensure employees uses respirators and implement a respiratory protection program as required in California’s respiratory standard. For information or help on developing a respiratory protection program, see Cal/OSHA’s  Respiratory Protection Fact Sheet.
    • If respirators cannot be provided in a timely manner, employers should relocate employees to areas of safe AQI or send them home until work air quality conditions are safe to return to work.
Why It Is Important: 
The main harmful pollutant for people who are not close to the fire is “particulate matter,” the tiny particles suspended in the air.  Particulate matter can irritate the lungs and cause persistent coughing, phlegm, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. Particulate matter can also cause more serious problems, such as reduced lung function, bronchitis, worsening of asthma, heart failure, and early death.  Finally, an Air Quality
Index (AQI) over 100 is unhealthy for sensitive people and an AQI over 150 is unhealthy for everyone.
Protective Methods:

When AQI is 151 or greater, employers should follow the following protective methods:

  1. Locate work in enclosed structures or vehicles where the air is filtered.
  2. Change procedures such as moving workers to a place with a lower current AQI for PM2.5.
  3. Reduce work time in areas with unfiltered air.
  4. Increase rest time and frequency, and providing a rest area with filtered air.
  5. Reduce the physical intensity of the work to help lower the breathing and heart rates
Respirators:

Respirators can be an effective way to protect employee health by reducing exposure to wildfire smoke, when they are properly selected and worn:
  • When the current AQI for PM2.5 is 151 or greater, employers shall provide their workers with proper respirators for voluntary use. If the current AQI is greater than 500, respirator use is required.
  • Surgical masks or items worn over the nose and mouth such as scarves, T-shirts, and bandannas will not provide protection against wildfire smoke.
Employer Information Resources:
Employee Information Resources:
Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at (844-LABOR-DIR) or (844-522-6734).
The California Workers’ Information line at (866-924-9757) provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics.
CalWorkSafety Helps companies prepare for Cal/OSHA
compliance, training, inspections, citations or written plans.
Contact us today and speak to one of our Consultants:
Call: 949-533-3742 or email:

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

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

This Is NOT a Drill – All Employers Need To Know About This Report

24 Oct
300A-Flash Report
Cal/OSHA Issues Emergency Work-Related Injury Recordkeeping Regulation 

In an effort to ensure compliance, an emergency RecordKeeping Regulation has been issued to bring Cal/OSHA in line with Fed-OSHA requirements.

Cal/OSHA announced that the required 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuriesonline filing is now “official” and California employers must comply by December 31, 2018 for 2017 Report, if not already done.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has published an Emergency Regulation requiring all employers with 250+ employees to electronically submit their annual 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries. Employers in selected industries – with between 20 – 249 employees also must electronically submit the 300A.

The original DOSH original version of the regulation was issued on October 10, but it appears few, if any stakeholders were aware of it. DOSH has now reissued the emergency regulation.

Stakeholders attending an October Cal-OSHA Standards Board meeting were surprised when a DOSH official announced the regulatory move. Confusing language made it appear that employers were required to electronically submit their 2018 300A data by December 31, 2018, which would be impossible. The DOSH Legal Unit revised that issue stating that it is referring to 300A summaries for 2017.

On October 23, 2018, DOSH will officially submit the Emergency Action to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The OAL will then provide stakeholders five days to comment. Also, an Emergency Regulation will appear on the OAL website, oal.ca.gov. OAL then has 10 days to review the action after the comment period and if it passes muster, it will take effect after that period.

If you have any questions about this update please contact us at 949-533-3742 or email: dondressler1@gmail.com.

CalWorkSafety is a leader in labor law, risk management and consultant on: Human Resources,Safety & Cal/OSHA, Labor Law/Discrimination/EOP and Workers’ Compensation.Through the design of customized HR packages, Cal Work Safety significantly reduces worker’s compensation costs and protects employers from non-compliance issues … while providing effective employee training solutions to California companies.
The Bottom Line:
Our Virtual HR Department offers effective hands-on Management and
Staff training dealing with Mandated Regulations.  By simplifying the
employee relations and compliance elements we help clients reduce
workers’ compensation premiums, prevent discrimination and harassment claims, and settle/avoid employee claims. To learn more about preparing for 2019 HR compliance, call us at 949-533-3742 or email:

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