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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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Safety culture: Are your workers becoming complacent? Help them refocus on safety
January 2016
When you put an effective safety program in place--one that eliminates as many hazards as possible, substitutes safer alternatives when available, and uses engineering controls to minimize other hazards--your workers can start to think of the workplace as "safe." And when people feel safe, what happens? They might let their guard down. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Dig into trenching safety requirements
January 2016
Are your workers laborers, welders, plumbers, or equipment operators? If so, you've probably trained them in the hazards of those jobs. But if they do their work in an excavation, the excavation itself poses additional hazards that you can address with this session of Cal/OSHA-required training. . . . more »
Standards update: Rule changes affect ship building, construction, fire brigades, and agriculture
January 2016
In the latter part of 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) approved minor changes to the ship building and construction safety orders. Another update affected the protective footwear standard that applies to private fire brigades. And in its most substantial revision, the board crafted an exemption to the agricultural equipment standards that outline when farmers can use truck-mounted personnel transport carriers (PTCs). . . . more »
Workplace violence: NIOSH says stores neglect simplest safety measures to their detriment
January 2016
Employers sometimes fret over the cost of preventive safety measures: Was it worth hiring extra personnel to prevent an injury that might not have happened anyway? Was it worth installing extra equipment to control a hazard that workers encounter only once or twice a year? . . . more »
Hazardous chemicals: Cleaning chemicals sicken 20 workers; How to avoid deadly mixtures
January 2016
When Taylor Farms workers in Tracy arrived for the morning shift on October 15, 2015, they immediately noticed a strong chlorine smell. Twenty workers, including two pregnant women, became sick enough that they evacuated the building and called 911. According to the Tracy Fire Department, the plant's sanitation crew had accidentally mixed two cleaning chemicals, acetic acid and chlorine, releasing toxic chlorine gas. . . . more »
Featured resource: Get out! A checklist for inspecting your emergency escape routes
January 2016
In the event of a fire, chemical release, or similar disaster, your workers might need to leave the building quickly. You've probably established emergency evacuation routes, but have you given them a test run? . . . more »
Enforcement: Worker's deadly fall leads to manslaughter charges against owner and foreman
December 2015
In the November 2015 issue of COCA, we told you about the criminal sentencing of the owner and project manager at Milpitas-based U.S.-Sino Investments for the death of a 36-year-old worker. Day laborer Raul Zapata died when an unprotected 12-foot excavation wall collapsed on him. . . . more »
Safety management: Expand your safety culture to contractors and suppliers
December 2015
Your safety culture--the attitudes and habits underlying safety and health practices in your workplace--is an essential hazard control. It can be difficult to build but easy to destroy, and one thing that can destroy your carefully constructed safety culture is a permissive attitude toward your contractors' and suppliers' safety practices. . . . more »
Workers' compensation: Prescription drugs are driving up your workers' comp costs; What you can do
December 2015
Do your workers have a problem with prescription painkillers? Odds are that some of them do--and that the number is increasing. Use of opioid painkillers like OxyContin®, Vicodin®, and Percoset® has increased throughout the United States since the 1990s, when new formulations made the drugs practical to use for long-term, chronic pain. The drugs are effective at fighting pain, but their side effects include addiction and deadly overdoses. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Achieve safety under pressure by training workers to handle compressed gases
December 2015
Trainer's handbook Achieve safety under pressure by training workers to handle compressed gases . . . more »
Hazard identification: Fatality rates decreased in 2014, especially for one high-risk group
December 2015
Fatal work injuries declined 16 percent to 334 deaths in 2014, down from 396 the year before, according to new preliminary 2014 workplace statistics for California released by the state Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The DIR conducts the annual survey, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) together with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. . . . more »
Featured resource: Tips for trainers
December 2015
You must train your workers so they know the hazards of the workplace, the precautions you've put in place, their role in safety, and how to properly use their equipment to protect themselves. But not all training is effective. How can you make sure your training sessions get the job done? . . . more »
Enforcement: Ignored stop-work notice leads to 1 dead worker, 2 years in jail for employer
November 2015
In the construction industry, when a contractor performs work that the client doesn't pay for in a timely manner, the contractor can file a "stop-work notice" demanding to be paid before any more work is done. But contractors aren't the only parties who can stop work at a site. Building inspectors, site owners, and some state regulatory agencies can issue "stop-work notices" or similar injunctions that will cause the worksite to be shut down. . . . more »
Hazard communication: The next GHS implementation deadline is December 1; How's your compliance?
November 2015
When federal OSHA adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) in 2012, a compliance clock started ticking. And when Cal/OSHA began adopting the federal rule, it retained federal OSHA's deadlines, meaning California employers don't have extra time to comply with the changes. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Were the employer's confined space procedures adequately protective?
November 2015
Confined spaces can be death traps for workers, isolating them in a space they cannot easily escape in the presence of invisible, subtly accumulating hazards like flammable or oxygen-deficient atmosph . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Make sure workers understand how machine guarding and lockout/tagout work
November 2015
A machine that's operating should have guards in place to protect workers from placing themselves in harm's way. When a machine is shut down, workers face a different type of hazard: unexpected startups or movement. Machine guarding and lockout/tagout work together to protect employees from machinery hazards at all points in the production process. But do your workers fully understand these safeguards? . . . more »
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