Tag Archives: Cal/OSHA

Heat Illness A High Priority for OSHA

23 Jun

While it is still too early to tell what the 2013 summer weather will be, we can look back on 2012 as the hottest year for California is recorded history.  Despite the hot weather last year, Cal/OSHA investigated 3 occupationally related heat deaths (but none in agriculture), but also 48 heat related illnesses.  Overall, Cal/OSHA conducted almost 3,900 inspections in enforcing its heat illness program standards.

Cal/OSHA issued 1,069 citations in 2012, primarily for lack of written plans to deal with heat illness (788), lack of employee training regarding heat illness (246) and lack of provisions of water (101).

All during 2013 Cal/OSHA will again be conducting vigorous enforcement, so employers need to be aware and prepared for compliance. Key requirements are:

1.       Water – 1 quart of water per hour per employee is the law.  Have the water as close to the employees as possible.

2.       Shade – available upon request. No more than a 2 minute walk from employees when the temperature is 85 F or higher, sufficient for 25% of employees to relax without sitting on the ground.

3.       Training – taught the dangers and symptoms of heat illness, BEFORE working outside. Informed of what to do when experiencing heat illness and how to summon emergency responders to work site.  Supervisors require additional training.

4.       High heat – when temperatures are 95 F or higher, frequently remind employees to drink water, observe new employees, maintain communications with employees.

For more complete information, see http://www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/HeatIllnessInfo.html

You can also email DonDressler1@hotmail.com with any questions or for a sample heat illness prevention plan.

Time to Plan and Train for Heat Illness

11 May

Depending on where you live and work, you may already have experienced warm weather, and even heat alerts. Now is the time to plan for and train your employees about heat illness.
This is a legal requirement in California, Washington and a few other states, and was the 2nd leading cause for Cal/OSHA citations in 2012.
So what do you need to know and do?
#1- have a written plan to deal with heat illness for all employees who work outside, even if they only work outside a portion of their time. #2- train employees about the risks of heat illness, how to prevent heat illness and what to do about it; #3- ensure that employees know the importance of drinking adequate amounts of water and have access to water; #4- make sure employees recognize the signs of heat illness and have shade to rest to cover from the symptoms. Encourage them to respond to any signs of heat illness; #5- have plans for how you will respond with emergency medical help for employees who suffer heat distress; and #6- make sure your managers and supervisors receive training on heat illness, the importance of water, shade, and how to respond to signs of distress.
The early days on the job, and the first days of warm weather, particularly if the humidity is high, are the most critical. Employees need to “acclimate” to the heat conditions. Almost all heat illnesses occur on the first few days of hot weather or first days on the job.
For more specific training or information, email me at DonDressler1@hotmail.com for a free copy of a power point Heat Illness training program or visit the California Department of Industrial Relations website at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/heatillnessinfo.html

Cal/OSHA Annual Summary (Form 300A) Posting Date Is February 1- Are You Ready?

20 Jan

From February 1 through April 30 of each year, most employers are required by the OSHA Record keeping Standard to post a summary of the prior year’s job-related injuries, even if there were none. In California, Cal/OSHA’s rules apply.

Included in the log (known as Form 300A) should be the total numbers of job-related injuries and illnesses from 2012 as well as information on the number of workers and hours worked for the year. A company executive must certify all establishment summaries.

The requirement applies to all employers that had 11 or more employees, except those covered in the California low-hazard establishments in the retail, service, finance and real estate sectors. Employers with 10 or fewer employees at all times during the last calendar year do not need to keep Cal/OSHA injury and illness records. 

Do be aware that the requirement to notify Cal/OSHA if an employee has a serious injury still applies to ALL employers. 

If there is more than one business establishment, a separate summary must be posted in each physical location that is expected to be in operation for one year or longer.

For a copy of the forms and instructions, see:  Cal/OSHA- Forms for Recording Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses  http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/RecKeepOverview.pdf

For a list of “low hazard” industries exempt from the recordkeeping rules, see: Exempt industries

Don Dressler Consulting regularly broadcasts webinars on OSHA and Cal/OSHA Record keeping and Reporting.  For information about these programs or for help with your organization’s record keeping or reporting issues, just call us at 949-533-3742 or email us at DonDressler1@hotmail.com

Cal/OSHA Appeals Board Makes it Official – If You Fail To Report A Serious Injury –To OSHA – No Matter Why – You Must Pay $5,000 Fine

16 Jan

The only way to protect your company is to post the Cal/OSHA District Office phone number right next to the 911 or local ambulance phone number on your work emergency phone list! If you or one of your employees call for emergency assistance to help an injured or ill employee, such as to a local fire department, ambulance service, etc. and one of your employees is taken from your work site to an emergency room or hospital. DO NOT WAIT, CALL CAL/OSHA RIGHT THEN. YOU HAVE ONLY 8 HOURS!
In many localities, an ambulance service that transports an injured or ill employee to a hospital or the hospital that treats the employees will report the incident to the local OSHA office, even though there is no legal obligation to do so. If a serious injury occurs at your facility, you should assume that OSHA will be conducting an inspection
And new OSHA Appeals Board decisions state that $5,000 penalty for failure to report is mandatory for an employer’s failure to report a serious injury. There is no penalty of “over reporting”.
The Rule: If an employee is killed, hospitalized overnight, has an amputation or is disfigured, at work, the employer is required to report the event to OSHA. (Title 8 California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 342(a))
Who: The employer (via manager or supervising employee) must make this call. A call by the local fire department, EMT or your insurance agent is not enough.
When: The report must be made within eight hours of the point in time when the employer becomes aware of the injury or should have (this means keeping track of your employees’ condition post incident is required). The eight hours includes evenings and weekends.
Why: From OSHA’s perspective, the report is required to allow OSHA to quickly investigate hazards and make sure there is no danger of further injury.
What: What is serious? The regulations (Title 8 CCR section 330(h)) take a lot of the guesswork out of this. An injury is serious when it involves an amputation, permanent disfigurement (think scarring or crushing injury) and / or more than 24 hours of hospitalization for something, anything, other than observation.
Where: The report must be made to the OSHA office closest to the place of the incident. A list of offices is available at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/DistrictOffices.htm

Be ready to tell Cal/OSHA:
• Time and date of accident
• Employer’s name, address and telephone number
• Name and job title of person reporting the accident
• Address of site of accident or event
• Name of person to contact at site of accident
• Name and address of injured employee(s)
• Nature of injury
• Location where injured employee(s) was-were moved
• List and identity of other law enforcement agencies present at the site of accident
• Description of accident and whether the accident scene or instrumentality has been altered

Are You Ready to Prove You Trained Every New Employee in Safety?

23 Dec

Can you produce written proof that every one of your employees has received safety training, particularly new employees? Specifically, can you show:

  1. Employees were given safety training for their job?
  2. The specific training their received?
  3. Who did the training?
  4. When the training occurred?

Personnel Plus Inc. a temporary staffing agency could not produce such records and Cal/OSHA cited them for violating the training documentation requirements of California law.  Cal/OSHA Appeals Board upheld the citation and penalty for violating the Illness & Injury Prevention Plan requirements of CCR 8, Section 3202 (b)(2).

Every California employer – no matter what size – no matter what industry or occupation – must have a written safety plan and provide safety training before any employee starts work.  And, the employer must have written records to prove it. 

If you need help in complying with these rules, e-mail DonDressler1@hotmail.com

New YouTube Video Available For Safety Training For Your Workers Regarding Heat Illness

20 Aug

The summer is not over, and employers have a continuing obligation under OSHA, particularly California employers under the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention rules, to train employees about the dangers of heat illness and how to protect themselves. You have a new tool to help in that effort: an on line video on YouTube.com presented by Don Dressler Consulting and www.CalWorkSafety.com.

Check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnrwrewOaGE.  This is a fast paced information packed video using power point material designed for your employees on the very first day on the job.

Time to Train Supervisors About Safety

3 Jul

Join my July 12 Webinar, “Safety Training: Help Your Supervisors Understand – and Execute – Their Critical Role”.

Supervisors are critical for your company’s safety program’s success. They are closest to the employees and the actual work being done. Their example of safe behavior, daily encouragement promoting safety and being alert to job hazards are vital to the well being of your workers and avoiding injuries.

Have your foremen or supervisors been trained or given the tools to do this job well. On July 12, from 10:30 am Pacific to noon, we will cover OSHA’s obligations for supervisors, the General Duty clause, how a supervisor can prepare for and handle an OSHA inspection and practical tips to promote safety every day.

Learn about the program at: http://catalog.blr.com/product.cfm?product=10065300 or email me to talk about this program for your own company. DonDressler1@hotmail.com. Also check out my new website: www.CalWorkSafety.com