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A Publication of California Employer Resources
Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor

Safety Compliance Advice and Best Practices for California Employers

Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor helps safety professionals, business owners, and managers comply with California and federal safety regulations, keep workers safe, lower their
workers' comp costs, and avoid safety-related
fines and lawsuits.

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Featured Resources
Enforcement: Employer agrees to pay $1 million fine; How LO/TO could have prevented tragedy
November 2014
On August 19, 2011, a knitting machine at the American Apparel factory in Garden Grove jammed. While 49-year-old Tuan Phan was inside the machine trying to clear the jam, it started up, crushing him. This wasn't the first time such an incident had occurred at the factory. . . . more »

Featured Resource: Daily inspection checklist for cranes
November 2014
Cranes do a lot of our heavy lifting and, like any workhorse piece of equipment, require regular inspections and maintenance. . . . more »

Featured resource: Make Halloween less dangerous for your drivers
October 2014
Watch out, drivers--the busiest pedestrian night of the year is coming up. On Halloween, hordes of children will take to the streets, walking from house to house, showing off their costumes and collecting candy. It's all in good fun, but it can be dangerous. . . . more »

Featured resource: A handy field sanitation checklist
September 2014
In 2008, Coronado Irrigation Services of Shafter (in Kern County) was cited for multiple violations of Cal/OSHA's field sanitation requirements, General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) Section 3457. The employer appealed the fines, citing financial hardship--and it took 6 years before the fines were at last reduced. . . . more »

Featured resource: Cut back on tree-trimming hazards
August 2014
Joshua Pudsey was helping trim a 60-foot eucalyptus tree at a La Mesa home on November 12, 2013, when a branch fell out of control. Pudsey, a 42-year-old laborer, was struck in the head and thrown to the concrete driveway below. He was declared dead at the scene. . . . more »


Most Recent Articles
Online exclusive: Tips for healthy air travel
COCA Online Exclusive November 2014
The holidays are a prime travel time for many American workers--our romantic notions of "home for the holidays" and "I'll be home for Christmas" are founded in a national holiday habit. But after the holidays, you'll want your workers back on the job in solid physical shape. Our air travel tips can help make sure they travel safely and arrive back in the workplace in good health this holiday season. . . . more »

NIOSH publishes sleep tips for truck drivers
November 2014
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a new resource that provides truck drivers with tips for improving sleep quality to boost their health and reduce th . . . more »

Federal OSHA announces top violations for FY 2014
November 2014
In September 2014, a representative of federal OSHA shared preliminary numbers for the top 10 most frequently cited standards in fiscal year (FY) 2014. Although some items on the list shifted their po . . . more »

Emergency preparedness: Find the fault! Earthquake preparedness tips for businesses
November 2014
There have been widespread rumblings in the wake of the Napa earthquake in August that California got lucky. The overnight earthquake hit when most people were home in bed; at 3:20 a.m. on a Sunday morning, even the bars were closed. Employers in the affected areas were certainly fortunate--if they had anyone on duty, it was probably the smallest and least busy of their shifts. . . . more »

Appeals Board decisions: Board rules that primary employers cannot delegate safety responsibilities
November 2014
At Aware Products in Chatsworth, workers manufacture and package shampoos, lotions, and other personal care products. Maria Mata, a temporary employee leased to Aware by Staffchex, a temporary agency, had worked at the facility for 5 years, operating a bottle filling and capping machine. Four to six times a week, the machine would jam. . . . more »

Trainer's handbook: Forklift safety starts with proper maintenance--and that starts with training
November 2014
When it comes to forklifts, operator training is considered absolutely vital for safety. It's important not to overlook the safety of the machinery itself, though--and the safety of the people who keep the machinery in good working order. . . . more »

Hazard identification: Cooperation and coordination create better protection for temporary workers
November 2014
When an employer hires a full-time, permanent employee, there is no question about who will perform the training, provide the protective equipment, and keep the records pertaining to the worker's expo . . . more »

Safety management: Use near misses to get everyone thinking about safety
November 2014
Production worries. Procurement worries. Personnel worries. Personal worries. . . . more »

Enforcement: Employer agrees to pay $1 million fine; How LO/TO could have prevented tragedy
November 2014
On August 19, 2011, a knitting machine at the American Apparel factory in Garden Grove jammed. While 49-year-old Tuan Phan was inside the machine trying to clear the jam, it started up, crushing him. This wasn't the first time such an incident had occurred at the factory. . . . more »

Featured Resource: Daily inspection checklist for cranes
November 2014
Cranes do a lot of our heavy lifting and, like any workhorse piece of equipment, require regular inspections and maintenance. . . . more »

Online Exclusive: Spill prevention checklist
COCA Online Exclusive October 2014
Accidental spills and releases can create fire hazards, toxic exposures, and environmental concerns at your workplace--and earthquakes, like the magnitude 6.0 quake that hit Napa in August 2014, can lead to accidental spills. . . . more »

Cal/OSHA cites employer over policy discouraging seat belt use
October 2014
Cal/OSHA has cited Menzies Aviation $77,250 for three serious accident-related, one serious, and one regulatory violation following an investigation into the death of a worker at Los Angeles Internati . . . more »

Special Report included with this issue: Hazard communication training in a GHS world
October 2014
California's Hazard Communication regulation—General Industry Safety Orders Section 5194—requires employee training to explain and reinforce the information employees get about hazardous sub . . . more »

Balers and compactors: $950K fine, conviction for Macy's in worker's baler death; 3 critical mistakes
October 2014
Roy Polanco was feeding materials into a cardboard baler/compactor at a Macy's distribution center in East Los Angeles on July 13, 2009, when tragedy struck. . . . more »

Personal protective equipment: Warehouse socked with $300,000 fine for foot hazards; How to avoid its missteps
October 2014
When your workers are exposed to hazards that can't be eliminated, you may need to provide them with personal protective equipment (PPE). There is more than one potential failure point in the process of identifying the hazard, selecting the PPE, and putting it into use. One California employer found that out after Cal/OSHA inspected it in 2012 and then reinspected in 2014. Read on to learn from its experience. . . . more »

Enforcement: New federal enforcement guidelines target 'alarming' communication tower hoisting deaths
October 2014
Fatality rates have steadily risen at communication tower worksites. The industry suffered more deaths in 2013 than in the previous 2 years combined, and by July 2014, had already suffered nine more. In response to this "alarming increase in preventable injuries and fatalities," federal OSHA has updated its communication tower directive. . . . more »

Drugs and alcohol: Are your workers taking opioid painkillers? Prevent hazards caused by abuse
October 2014
Identifying and dealing with drug use and abuse in your workplace is vital to your workers' safety. Many employers already have a drug abuse prevention program in place, complete with preemployment testing and drug screens that are conducted randomly or as needed to identify workers who are current users. . . . more »

Trainer's handbook: Teach your workers to be hardheaded about hard hats
October 2014
Workers can be resistant to wearing hard hats. After all, the hats can be hot, heavy, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and generally a pain. But it's important that they learn instead to be hardheaded about wearing and caring for their protective headgear. . . . more »

Standards: Group lockout/tagout provisions adopted; PEL revisions take effect October 1
October 2014
The state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has finalized four new rules. A new permissible exposure limit (PEL) and new rules addressing safe patient handling and guarding of vertical food mixers will take effect on October 1. New rules also address group lockout/tagout. . . . more »

Featured resource: Make Halloween less dangerous for your drivers
October 2014
Watch out, drivers--the busiest pedestrian night of the year is coming up. On Halloween, hordes of children will take to the streets, walking from house to house, showing off their costumes and collecting candy. It's all in good fun, but it can be dangerous. . . . more »

Online Exclusive: Policy for out-of-service equipment
September 2014
A system for identifying malfunctioning or broken equipment and tools, and removing them from service, is vital to worker safety. But what happens once the "out-of-service" tag is applied? Without a clear policy, workers may not know how to handle this equipment. Is the equipment permanently out of service? If not, under what conditions can it be returned to service? Our policy will help you provide your workers with important guidance. . . . more »

Governor Brown signs safety and health-related bills
September 2014
Governor Brown has signed into law two bills that address occupational safety and health matters. A.B. 326 requires every California employer to make an immediate report to Cal/OSHA by telephone or e- . . . more »

Professor resolves criminal charges from UCLA lab death case
September 2014
In the April 2012 issue of COCA, we told you about the death of Sheri Sangji, a 23-year-old research assistant in an organic chemistry laboratory at the University of California at Los Angeles . . . more »

Safety management: Encourage worker safety with an effective incentive program
September 2014
It seemed like a good idea at the time: Reward workers for working safely by providing cash and goods that they could earn as incentives. Even better, put peer pressure to good use by rewarding workers in groups; workers, wanting their premiums, would encourage one another not to cut safety corners and to stay safe. . . . more »

Hazard identification: Are your workers in double jeopardy from hazards at work and at home?
September 2014
Suppose that in his latest hearing test, you notice that a young worker is showing a standard threshold shift, an indicator that he has suffered some degree of hearing loss. Your workplace is noisy enough to cause the hearing loss, but the controls you have in place should prevent it. . . . more »

Health and wellness: What does the obesity epidemic mean for workplace safety?
September 2014
It's no secret that California's workforce is becoming heavier. With more than half of the state's adults either overweight or obese, have you considered the impact of your workers' expanding waistlines on workplace safety? Keep reading for key issues to consider. . . . more »

Trainer's handbook: Workers who know their electrical safety basics are less likely to be shocked
September 2014
Would you be shocked to learn that most of the workers injured by electricity are not electricians? They're more likely to be people who weren't supposed to encounter an exposed live circuit--people like janitors, mechanics, and painters, whose contact with electricity is unexpected and deadly. Protect these workers by making sure they understand the hazards they may be exposed to and how to stay safe. . . . more »

Appeals Board decisions: Can trucks provide shade for workers? Not if they're parked
September 2014
The June 2014 issue of COCA covered a case in which an employer whose usual shade structure had been damaged provided alternate shade from an open trailer with a roof. The Cal/OSHA Appeals Board ruled in that case that the employer met its obligation to provide shade, water, and seating for workers. . . . more »

Fleet safety: NIOSH guidance offers new tips for preventing backovers on roadway construction sites
September 2014
Ready for some statistics that should make you take a step back? Between 2003 and 2010, 143 workers on road construction sites in the United States died when they were hit by vehicles backing up. And in 2011, 70 workers in all industries were killed in backover accidents. . . . more »

Featured resource: A handy field sanitation checklist
September 2014
In 2008, Coronado Irrigation Services of Shafter (in Kern County) was cited for multiple violations of Cal/OSHA's field sanitation requirements, General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) Section 3457. The employer appealed the fines, citing financial hardship--and it took 6 years before the fines were at last reduced. . . . more »


Featured Articles
Featured Resource: This Is a Fire Drill … Checklist
April 2012
When was your last fire or emergency evacuation drill? If more than six months ago, it's time to think about staging another. Careful planning and evaluation can help you get the most out of your drills. Use our checklist to help with both. . . . more »

Compliance Checklist: Lockout/Tagout
COCA Online Exclusive
Employers whose lockout/tagout programs are incomplete risk serious injuries to workers, and steep fines from DOSH. Use this checklist to make sure that the basic elements of your lockout/tagout program are in place. . . . more »

Infection Control Checklist
Updated November 2010
Antibiotic-resistant microorganisms are becoming increasingly common. In part, this is due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, which tends to breed resistant strains. Another factor is the spread of these organisms from the immunocompromised populations where they first . . . more »

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