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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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Health and wellness: New study identifies 4 strategies that work for shift workers
January 2015
Shift work has been associated with a number of adverse health effects, from heart disease to cancer. Employers have tried many strategies to help shift workers stay safe, well rested, and healthy, but these strategies have fallen more into the "common sense" category than into the "scientifically validated best practices" category. . . . more »
Forklifts: Fatalities emphasize the need to elevate forklift safety
January 2015
A forklift usually has a driver's seat, an accelerator, a brake, a steering mechanism, and a horn--but don't let workers mistake a forklift for a car or truck. They're very different vehicles, and forklifts are a lot more dangerous to operate. A rash of recent fatalities in California and elsewhere illustrates forklift hazards and the need to elevate forklift safety to a priority in your workplace. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Are your workers at risk from Ebola? Cal/OSHA guidance can help
January 2015
On March 23, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) received a report of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in the West African nation of Guinea--the first report of Ebola virus disease since January 2013. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Window washers hang by a thread; Make sure they know the ropes
January 2015
On November 12, 2014, America was captivated in the middle of the day by the spectacle of two men trapped on a suspended scaffold, tilted at a perilous angle, on the outside of the newly opened One World Trade Center building in New York. The men, Juan Lizama, 41, and Juan Lopez, 33, had been washing the building's windows from a suspended scaffold when a brake mechanism malfunctioned, causing one end of the scaffold to list. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: A tale of 2 applicable standards; Does it matter which one Cal/OSHA cites?
January 2015
On August 3, 2011, David Martinez was working on the second floor of a four-unit residential building that was under construction. Martinez was looking for a spot to install a brace when he stepped into a floor hole that had been left open for the placement of stairs. He fell 12 feet to the cement foundation and was seriously injured. . . . more »
Featured resource: Preshift forklift inspection checklist
January 2015
Forklifts come with a lot of potential hazards and failure points. Operator training is critical, of course, but so is ensuring that the equipment itself is safe and in good working order. This preshift inspection checklist covers the basic inspection requirements found in the Cal/OSHA operating rules. . . . more »
Enforcement: Can the state assess unfair competition penalties as a result of Cal/OSHA violations?
December 2014
On September 22, 2014, after 2 years of legal wrangling, the California Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case stemming from an employer's Cal/OSHA violations. The case raised critical questions regarding potentially expanded liability for California employers over safety and health citations. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Let's talk about the weather; The impact of climate change on safety
December 2014
Are you worried about the weather? With the state in its third consecutive year of below-normal rainfall, struggling through the worst drought in its recorded history, many people are dealing with water-related issues. Nearly 60 percent of the state is now in "exceptional drought," the most severe on the U.S. Drought Monitor's five-point scale, and 95 percent is in "severe drought." . . . more »
Legislative update: 4 safety and health bills go to the governor
December 2014
In its most recent session, the California legislature passed four bills that reflect some legislators' concerns about workplace safety and health. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Carve out some time to discuss chain saw safety
December 2014
Hall of Fame golfer Greg Norman was trimming some tree branches on his property in Florida in September 2014. One branch turned out to be heavier than he anticipated and fell onto his hand, pushing his left arm down onto the blade of the chainsaw. . . . more »
Ergonomics: What's in Cal/OSHA's new patient-handling standard? 3 things hospitals need
December 2012
In 2011, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (A.B.) 1136, the Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act. It created a new Section 6403.5 in the Labor Code, requiring all general acute care hospitals to adopt "a patient protection and healthcare worker back and musculoskeletal injury prevention plan"--and requiring the state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) to create an implementing regulation for employers. . . . more »
Agriculture: Following worker exposures, Cal/DPR proposes new restrictions on chlorpyrifos
December 2014
In 2007, more than 70 agricultural workers were de-leafing table grapes at a vineyard in Tulare County while an adjacent almond orchard was being sprayed with pesticides. Twenty-six workers became ill, reporting headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms. Additional incidents in Monterey County in 2008 and in Kern County in 2009 left 13 workers ill. . . . more »
Featured resource: Protect your holiday maintenance crew against 4 hazards
December 2014
Many manufacturing facilities shut down over the holidays, giving maintenance workers a chance to strip down facilities and machinery for heavy-duty annual rehabilitation. Your holiday maintenance crew could be exposed to hazards they don't routinely deal with. Before you turn them loose, remind them of these hazards and how to protect themselves. . . . 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 »
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 »
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