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Feature Articles

Articles from current issue of the Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor monthly newsletter are listed below.

Click on any headline below to find the full article. And be sure to click the "More Headlines" link at the bottom of the page to read articles you may have missed.

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Appeals Board decisions: Both temporary agency, host employer cited--and cleared--in worker's heat illness
June 2015
In 2014, the California Legislature passed a law (Assembly Bill 1897) that made temporary agency employers and their client employers jointly liable for protecting temporary workers. The same year, in its "Staffchex" decision, the Cal/OSHA Appeals Board ruled that temporary agencies can no longer use the so-called "dual employment doctrine defense" to argue that they aren't liable for safety violations affecting leased employees. . . . more »
Workers' compensation: Do you know the exceptions to the 'exclusive remedy' provision?
June 2015
Monnie Wright was a correctional officer at San Quentin State Prison. The year after his hiring, he moved into a state-owned apartment inside the prison's gated area. It wasn't a condition of his employment that he live on-site. . . . more »
Process safety management: Cal/OSHA steps up refinery enforcement efforts
June 2015
The Chevron Richmond refinery fire of August 2012, which shut down the refinery for months and sent nearly 15,000 nearby residents to the hospital, triggered responses at the state and federal level. . . . more »
Hazard identification: NIOSH recommends tobacco-free workplaces, indoors and out
June 2015
It has been 50 years since the first Surgeon General's Report on the health consequences of smoking was published--and 50 years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fired the first salvos in its war to prevent disease caused by tobacco use. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Train outdoor workers to prevent mosquito- and tick-borne diseases
June 2015
2014 was a record-breaking year for the mosquito-borne West Nile virus in California. The state recorded 801 cases of the potentially fatal disease in 2014, which was second only to 2005, when 880 cases of the disease were reported, according to a report released in April 2015 by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). . . . more »
Featured resource: Fall protection inspection checklist
June 2015
The lives of workers who wear fall protection harnesses and lanyards could literally end up hanging by a thread--well, a lot of heavy duty webbed threads, but they probably feel precarious enough to those who end up needing them. Make sure your workers' gear is ready to take the fall with this inspection checklist. . . . more »
Hazardous chemicals: Ammonia spill sends 24 workers to the hospital; Are your workers at risk?
May 2015
Shortly after 8:00 a.m. on February 5, 2015, ammonia started leaking from a refrigeration unit at Sierra Cascade Nursery in the small Merced County town of Ballico. Hundreds of workers spilled out of the building, escaping the pungent vapor. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Is an ATV an 'industrial tractor'? Does it need a ROPS?
May 2015
Southern California contractor HHS Construction specializes in removing and replacing fiber optic telephone cable. On August 9, 2011, HHS had a crew in San Diego pulling cable between four utility poles in a hilly location. . . . more »
Fall prevention: Fed OSHA's National Fall Prevention Stand-Down highlights protective measures
May 2015
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for 37 percent of all construction worker deaths in California in 2013. Many more construction workers suffer catastrophic, debilitating injuries as a result of falls. . . . more »
Welding: Lessons learned from a welder's deadly leak check
May 2015
Welding has a lot of hazards, but they're not all directly related to the welding equipment or process. California's Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (CA-FACE) program recently investigated an incident in which a welder was killed while performing a leak test after completing a welding repair. All welders can learn some valuable lessons from his misfortune. . . . more »
Featured resource: Put your wildfire prevention plan in writing
May 2015
Once upon a time, California had a "wildfire season," but the extreme drought conditions have created the potential for wildfires year-round. Having a thorough written plan in place will help you prepare for the risks. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Can you violate both LOTO and machine guarding standards at the same time?
April 2015
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) and machine guarding standards make an unusual pair. Both are intended to protect workers from the hazards of moving machinery, and they address the same hazards--but in different, task-specific ways. . . . more »
Injury prevention: Don't blink! Dealing with distractions in safety-critical operations
April 2015
The classic example of a distraction leading to a fatal error in a safety-critical situation is the teenage driver who crosses the center line on the road while texting and kills herself or someone else. But driving isn't the only safety-critical situation, and text messages aren't the only distractions. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Penetrating advice on chemical protective glove use and care
April 2015
A worker's hands are essential to many jobs--and vulnerable to many hazards. Chemical hazards in particular may damage the skin directly, causing rashes, allergic reactions, or burns, or they may be absorbed through the skin, causing systemic effects including narcosis (a state of stupor) and damage to specific organs and systems. . . . more »
Standards update: Heat illness prevention rule changes take effect May 1
April 2015
A few rule changes from California's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) take effect April 1. The most significant changes are those made to the heat illness prevention rules that were finalized in February. Ordinarily, those changes would go into effect on July 1, but the OSHSB has requested that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), which sets effective dates, make this rule effective as of April 1, 2015, to fully cover this year's agricultural growing season. . . . more »
Wellness: How much sleep do workers need? New guidelines issued
April 2015
Americans have a love/hate relationship with sleep. We need more sleep, but we sacrifice it to the most casual of temptations--like late-night television and Internet browsing. We value sleep but not as much as we value getting to work on time, getting our morning workouts in, or going to the midnight opening of a new movie. Sleep is essential to our health and our functioning; sleep is also an interruption of the essential activities of our day. . . . more »
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