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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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Personal protective equipment: U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on pay for donning and doffing time
April 2014
The dispute has been going on for decades. Workers want to be paid for the time they spend putting on or taking off required work clothing, while employers think they shouldn't be forced to pay for the time that employees spend essentially getting dressed. The issue has been addressed by standards interpretations from the U.S. Department of Labor, federal court rulings, and labor union legal briefs. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Are your safety basics up to snuff? These employers' weren't
April 2014
Did you ever miss a complicated problem on a math test, not because it was complicated but because at some point while you were working through the problem, you looked at 2+3 and inexplicably wrote "6"? . . . more »
Bloodborne pathogens: Adult film industry's compliance failures highlight the risks for other employers
April 2014
January was a tough month for employers in the adult film industry in California. To start with, Cal/OSHA issued 11 citations--including three violations of the bloodborne pathogens standard that were classified as "serious, accident-related"--and proposed $78,000 in fines against San Francisco-based Cybernet Entertainment in the wake of an actor's HIV infection last summer. . . . more »
Hazardous chemicals: Why you need to worry about oxidizers
April 2014
Three things are necessary to maintain a fire--a fuel source (flammable materials, including flammable or combustible chemicals), an ignition source (open flames, sparks, and sources of heat), and oxygen. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Confined-space emergency response: Get your workers out of a tight spot
April 2014
Whenever workers enter a confined space, they must be able to get out again in a hurry or, worse, they may need rescuing. To ensure that workers will not be trapped in a tight spot, planning and training are essential. . . . more »
Forklifts: 6 situations that can tip a forklift--and how to control them
April 2014
Antonio Toro was preparing to move large bundles of steel at a flood control project in Murrieta on May 13, 2013. As Toro positioned his forklift, it tipped, pinning him. By the time emergency responders reached him, Toro was dead. . . . more »
Featured Resource: Sample policy on safety eyewear
April 2014
Every day, 2,000 U.S. workers are treated for a job-related eye injury, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One of the most important ways to prevent these injuries is by using appropriate eye protection, but enforcing the proper selection and use of protective eyewear can be difficult. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Will a variance application excuse an employer from a settlement agreement?
March 2014
Sometimes complying with a Cal/OSHA standard is impossible. Other times, the standard's requirements provide inadequate employee protection, or the employer may simply have a better solution. It's also possible that more than one standard might apply, and the employer must choose how to proceed. . . . more »
Process safety management: DOSH must expand enforcement--and employers must pay
March 2014
On August 6, 2012, a severely corroded pipe in the #4 crude unit at the Chevron refinery in Richmond began leaking flammable hydrocarbons. The resulting fire shut down the refinery for months, sent nearly 15,000 nearby residents to the hospital, and resulted in the largest fines ever proposed by Cal/OSHA. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Until the dust clears, teach workers to protect themselves against silica
March 2014
Each year, more than 300 American workers die from silicosis, and thousands of new cases are diagnosed. Silicosis is the name given to incurable lung damage that occurs when workers inhale dusts that contain crystalline silica. . . . more »
Citations: Employer draws $54,000 in fines for worker's elevator death
March 2014
Donald White, a 63-year-old worker, was helping install an elevator at the new Levi's Stadium, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, on June 11, 2013. White was standing on a ladder beneath the counterweight of a freight elevator, installing equipment in the counterweight runway, when the counterweight came down. It struck and killed him. . . . more »
Standards update: No fooling! New regulations take effect on April 1
March 2014
The state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has finalized three new rules that will take effect on April 1: a new permissible exposure limit (PEL), a change to the rules about cranes and derricks in construction, and some revised definitions that apply to woodworking equipment. . . . more »
Hazardous chemicals: Employers face high liability and tighter regulations for lead exposure
February 2014
The dangers of lead have been back in the headlines lately. The gist for employers that use lead? Substantial potential liability and more restrictive regulations appear to be the order of the day. . . . more »
Distracted driving: Think outside the text message; Are these distractions affecting your drivers?
February 2014
By now, your drivers should know: Don't text and drive. Texting is more dangerous than drunk driving. Put the phone away when you're behind the wheel. . . . more »
Nanomaterials: New guidance from NIOSH details engineering controls for nano-scale hazards
February 2014
We know that things that are too small to see can be extremely dangerous--bacteria and viruses, vapors and gases, and radioactive particles are all tiny, invisible hazards. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions Workers are struck; Employers' appeals are struck down
February 2014
Sometimes a worker is in the wrong place at the wrong time--for example, right in the path of something that's about to move. That's what happened to two workers who were struck by objects that moved unexpectedly. In both cases, the employers were held liable because of failures at the management level. . . . more »
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