What is CAL-OSHA?
The official title for CAL-OSHA is the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
The main reason for the existence of CAL-OSHA is to protect and to improve the health and safety of the people of the state of California. All of this starts with the employees that work on the various jobs and job sites here in California.
Below are is a short list of how the health and safety in the workplace are improved by Cal-OSHA.
- Implementing a set of Safety Standards
- Enforcing the established Safety Standards
- Educating employers on what the Safety Standards are and how the employer may implement them.
- Doing Onsite inspections and citing employers for safety violations.
To begin with, every employer must have a formally written Safety Program / Illness and Injury Prevention Program.
This Safety Program has eight components that must be met. Below is a list of those components.
- Each Safety Program must have either a Safety Officer or a Safety Committee. The Safety Officer or Committee is the person or persons responsible for coming up with the company Safety Program, and then implanting it.
- The Illness and Injury Prevention Program aka The Safety Program must have a way for employees to report hazardous in the workplace. Once the employee has reported a hazard it is the duty of the Safety Officer or Committee to make sure that number one the hazard is inspected and then repairs are made as deemed necessary.
- Job sites are to be inspected by the Safety Officer or Committee periodically. We encourage all of our members to do this twice a year.
- Safety Training, in general, should be done on a regular basis if you are in construction that means every ten days. For most employers once a month is fine, and if you work in an office once every 90 days is good to go. There are various opinions on how often an employer should be doing Safety Training. The above may be more aggressive than what you may hear as a rule, but it has worked well for our clients.
- Every Safety Program must have a way to either reward or discipline an employee.
- It is the employee’s responsibility to find and identify potential workplace hazards and then make employees aware of what they can do to protect themselves.
- Documentation of all of the above is a must. It does not matter hoe many employees you have the key to winning your case is to document, document, and document.
For years CAL-OSHA has been a big deal, but in November of 2016, they will become a much bigger deal. This November all fines will be going up by 80%.
Not only that but the enforcement team has been told that they must cite more employers with serious penalties. When you add the 80% increase in fines to the more serious violations it does not take long for an employer to understand that in this day and time there is just no way to stay compliant with the help of a CAL-OSHA Consulting firm to give you a hand.
CES Today has been helping employers since 1997. The best part of what we do is this; we make compliance easy. If a company is going to hire a CAL-OSHA Consultation firm, they would be wise to hire one that knows how the CAL-OSHA Standards are being enforced. Today all consulting firms know the laws, but understanding how those laws are going to be enforced is quite another story.
Having a good IIPP/Safety Program may not be enough depending on what industry you work in, along with the work conditions that your employees must work in there could be a host of other programs that you may be required to have. Below is just a brief list. If you would like to know more about any of these or simply have a question we would love to hear from you.
- Heat Illness Prevention Program
- Fall Protection, one for each job
- Confined Space Program
- Safety Data Sheets for all chemicals used on the job
- Hazardous Communication Program
- Emergency Action Plan
- Blood Borne Pathogen
The New CAL-OSHA Enforcement Plan
Recently CAL-OSHA implemented a new enforcement policy. This policy can cause you to be fined even though your written safety plans may meet all the standards required.
If you are not doing exactly what your plans say you will do, and you have failed to document that you are actually doing what your plans say you could be fined, with either a serious or even a willful violation since you are choosing to violate your own Safety Plan.
There are a lot more sweeps going on these days because the health and welfare of California Employees have become a priority. The good news is that workplace accidents are down as a result of this new aggressive plan.
In addition to that, California is fed up with employers not complying. After conducting several underground economy sweeps the agencies involved found that over 90% of most employers are not in compliance.
What does all of this mean to employers? More sweeps, more Inspections, more fines, and finally more compliance by employers.
In the early days, if an employer did not have at least 10 employees I did not even want to waste your time by talking with you. But today I am talking to employers who have only one employee. The reason why is very simply this; if you have only one employee but you are not in compliance you will likely be fined.
FREE CAL-OSHA MOCK INSPECTION
If this article has caused you to wonder about your own compliance, we will be happy to come out and meet with you. We will even perform a mock inspection of your workplace. We will provide you with a written report listing where your company is strong along with where improvements need to be made.
After this Free Inspection, you will have a much better idea of where you are at when it comes to complying with the new OSHA Standards.
Call today and schedule your personal inspection 888-358-2221