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New Workplace Safety Rules for Hotel Housekeepers Effective July 1

23 Mar

This is the first ergonomic standard in the nation written specifically to protect hotel housekeepers from musculoskeletal injuries.

The Office of Administrative Law approved the new workplace safety and health regulation specific to housekeepers in the hotel and hospitality industry, which will become effective July 1, 2018. Cal/OSHA will enforce the new standard — the first ergonomic standard in the nation written specifically to protect hotel housekeepers from musculoskeletal injuries.

Musculoskeletal injuries are injuries of a muscle, tendon, ligament, bursa, peripheral nerve, joint, bone or spinal disc that can limit or prevent someone from working. According to Cal/OSHA, hotel housekeepers frequently suffer musculoskeletal injuries, lifting mattresses, pulling linens, pushing heavy carts, and slipping, tripping or falling while cleaning bathrooms — at a rate higher than workers in other industries.

This regulation requires employers in the hotel and lodging industry to identify, evaluate and correct housekeeping-related hazards with the involvement of housekeepers and their union representative.

Under the new rule, covered employers will be required to have a specific written Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP).

The MIPP must include:

  • Procedures to identify and evaluate housekeeping hazards through worksite evaluations;
  • Include employees in the evaluation process;
  • Procedures to investigate musculoskeletal injuries to housekeepers;
  • Methods to correct identified hazards; and
  • Training of employees and supervisors on safe practices and controls, and a process for early reporting of injuries to the employer.
  • The initial evaluations, written plan and training all must be completed by September 29, 2018.

When evaluating worksite hazards, investigating injuries and identifying corrective measures, input from the housekeepers and their union representatives is required.

CalWorkSafety, LLC already has a draft MIPP and welcomes the opportunity to assist all hotel, motel and bed and breakfast employers in complying with this new regulation. While the rule does not take effect until July 1, 2018, at that time, employers will have only 90 days to take all the steps to comply and there is no reason to delay preparations and assessing how this will effect your operation. CalWorkSafety works with our clients to develop effective plans which meet your compliance obligations, and will assist you if Cal/OSHA conducts an inspection or issues citations.

The standard will be added to Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations as section 3345, Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.

More information on the standard can also be found on Cal/OSHA’s website.

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Remember to Post Your OSHA  Injury Illness Summary Log 300 No Later Than April 30th 

31 Jan
Remember to Post Your OSHA 
Injury Illness Summary 
Log 300 No Later Than April 30th 

Cal/OSHA and Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require employers with more than 10 employees to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. Minor injuries requiring first aid only do not need to be recorded.

All Employers Must Maintain a Log 300 &  
Post Last  Year’s Summary Page Logs   

What Is An OSHA 300 Log?
The OSHA injury and illness record keeping forms are: The Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300), the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A), and. the Injury and Illness Incident Report (OSHAForm 301).  View Form.  

Who Keeps Records?
Under OSHA’s record keeping regulation, certain covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 Log. This information is important for employers, workers and OSHA in evaluating the safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards.

However, there are two classes of employers that are partially exempt from routinely keeping injury and illness records.  First, employers with ten or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records.  OSHA’s revised record keeping regulation maintains this exemption.

Second, establishments in certain low-hazard industries are also partially exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records. Due to changes in OSHA’s record keeping requirements that went into effect 1-1-15, certain previously exempt industries are now covered.

To learn if you are required to prepare and maintain records under the updated rule, first determine your NAICS code by: Using the search feature at the U.S. Census Bureau NAICS webpage.
NOTE: Establishments in companies with 10 or fewer employees in the previous year continue to be exempt from keeping OSHA records, regardless of their industry classification.

The partial exemption for size is based on the number of employees in the entire company.

What Do I Do With This Information?
  1. Post your 300A Summary Report on your safety board no later than February 1st through April 30th of the year following the year covered by the form.
  2. File you 300 Log and retain logs for a minimum of five (5) years on site.
  3. Start a new log for the coming year; repeat this process at the end of the year
Time Requirement For Keeping An OSHA 300 Log?
You must save the OSHA 300 Log, the privacy case list (if one exists), the annual summary, and the OSHA 301 Incident Report forms for five (5) years following the end of the calendar year that these records cover.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU! 
Visit our website: www.calworksafety.com

or Call:  949-533-3742

Summer Is Here…And It’s Hot!

15 Aug

With the heat of summer in full swing, California employers covered by CA Regulations  Code, (Title 8, Section 3395) who have employees who work outdoors should review their practices to ensure that they are complying with current Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention requirements.

With the High Heat conditions we are experiencing now, Cal/OSHA will be Watching and Inspecting employers to ensure that they follow this heat-related regulations:

  • Free, Cool Water
  • Access to Shade
  • High-Heat Procedures (written)
  • Training for Employees (documented)
  • Emergency Response Procedures (written)
  • Acclimatization
  • Heat Illness Prevention Plan (written)

If you have not already done so, every California employer should develop and implement an effective Heat Illness Prevention Plan for their employees, including:

  1. Procedures for providing sufficient water
  2. Procedures for providing access to shade
  3. High-heat procedures
  4. Emergency response procedures
  5. Acclimatization methods and procedures

These regulations are for the employer’s protection and employees.  

Enforcement of these Heat Illness laws is intensifying, which means employers  can’t afford to ignore them!

These regulations are for the employer’s protection as well as the employees. Enforcement of these Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Laws is intensifying, which means that employers cannot afford to ignore them!

Cal Work Safety understands the Title 8, Section 3395CA Regulations Code

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  

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 

OSHA Inspections Are Serious Business

23 Sep

Starting this summer, Cal/OSHA has added over 40 new inspectors to its staff and their impact is already being felt.

The primary reasons employers are receiving inspections are being in a high hazard industry, having an experience modification of over 125 making them a high hazard employer, having had a serious injury which resulted in an employee being hospitalized or death, or a complaint being filed.

Most Frequent Cited Violations by Cal/OSHA in 2014

13 Jul

The top 3 reasons employers received citations and penalties from Cal/OSHA in 2014 involved not having adequate written safety plans or heat illness prevention plans.  In fact, just these 3 areas, Illness & Injury Prevention plans for general employers and construction employers and Heat Illness Prevention plans for those with employees who work out of doors involved 30 % of all the 15,000 citation issued by Cal/OSHA last year.

Other frequently cited violations included: failure to have adequate lock out/tag out plans for employees performing maintance on equipment;  failure to report serious injuries or work related deaths to Cal/OSHA within 8 hours; and violations of respirator program due to airborne contaminants or violations of the hazard communications program relating to exposure to hazardous chemicals.

All employers, even with only 1 employee, are required to have an effective written safety plan known as an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. It is clear from Cal/OSHA activity that many employers need to catch up the requirements of this law for almost 38 years now. The requirements regarding a written heat illness plan for any employer with even 1 employee working out of doors have been in place for 10 years now, but significantly strengthened just this past May 1, 2015.

Any employer needing assistance with compliance with Cal/OSHA to with questions about Cal/OSHA or help with a citation from Cal/OSHA can contact Don Dressler Consulting at dondressler1@hotmail.com

Two hard lessons for employers from a recent Cal/OSHA case

23 Jun

Following a fire at a Los Angeles area acrylic plastics manufacturing plant, Cal/OSHA conducted an inspection and found 3 safety violations, 2 of which should get the attention of every employer in California.
First, even though the company had to deal with a fire and injured workers, and still called the district Cal/OSHA office within 12 hours to notify them of serious burn injuries, this was not good enough to satisfy Cal/OSHA who cited the employer for violating Section 342(a) not “immediately reporting any serious injury or illness or death of an employee occurring in a place of employment.” “Immediately means as soon as practically possible but not longer that 8 hours after the employer know or with diligent inquiry would have known of the death or serious injury or illness. If the employer can demonstrate that exigent circumstances exist, the time frame for the report may be made no longer than 24 hours after the incident.”

In this incident it took the employer 12 hours to make the report because the supervisor encountered chaos when he arrived at the plant! Further, the supervisor sent an employee to the hospital to check on the condition of injured employees. Cal/OSHA said he should have called while he was driving to the plant or as soon as he arrived. Further, since the plant operates 24 hours a day, Cal/OSHA said the supervisor should have delegated the injury reporting to ensure a report was made when he learned of the fire and “the impending injury of employees”. A fine of $2,000 was upheld by the Occupational and Safety Appeals Board.

To add to the burden of the employer, Cal/OSHA next cited for not doing as complete an accident investigation as they wanted, in particular not determining the cause of the accident and findings and corrective action taken. Cal/OSHA did not say the employer did not find out the cause nor did it say no corrective steps were taken, just that the accident report did not contain “any determination as to the cause of the incident, nor did it contain any corrective actions.” “There was no evidence that the employer investigate how the fire was able to travel for the waste storage area to another room in the plant. Employer did not record any findings as to how employees were injured other than being burned. A fine of $1,125 was upheld by the Occupational and Safety Appeals Board for this violation.

Employers – who often struggle just to obtain the information to complete the Employers First Report of Injury for a workers’ compensation claim, now need to know that much more is expected of them, particularly if there are any significant injuries involved in a work place accident.

If you would like a set of documents to help you with steps to take in case of a work injury: An Employers Guide to Workplace Injury Procedures (requiring medical treatment beyond first aid); an Accident, Injury and Illness Investigation Form; a California Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1); California Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness or a Cal/OSHA District Offices map, please just e-mail me at DonDressler1@hotmail.com