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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: Worker's 'party' status dooms employer's settlement agreement; What went wrong?
August 2015
Sometimes, the outcome of a Cal/OSHA proceeding is determined by elements other than the facts in the case. The way each party in a case manages procedural factors and technicalities can affect the way things turn out. For example, an employer that files its appeal paperwork after the deadline has passed likely won't even get a hearing. . . . more »
Safety management: Most-cited standards and causes of death show where hazards are
August 2015
We all need to set priorities, and when it comes to worker safety and health and regulatory compliance, annual statistics released by Cal/OSHA, federal OSHA, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide employers with valuable guidance on where they need to focus their attention. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Federal OSHA publishes guidance for nail salon workers
August 2015
In 1975, after the fall of Saigon in South Vietnam, the U.S. government evacuated more than 125,000 South Vietnamese citizens to refugee camps in the United States. At a camp near Sacramento, actress Tippi Hedren (most famous for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds") met 20 Vietnamese women whose plight moved her. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: When it's hotter than hot, train workers in high-heat procedures
August 2015
On March 13, 2015, a Cal/OSHA advisory committee released a report on the agency's heat illness prevention special emphasis program. According to the report, heat-related illnesses and fatalities were down in 2014 (40 confirmed cases and one fatality) compared with 2013 (54 confirmed cases and four fatalities). . . . more »
Fleet safety: Seat belts and pedal confusion--2 fleet hazards with easy fixes
August 2015
According to early estimates released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in June 2015, 2014 saw 32,675 deaths in motor vehicle traffic crashes. The bit of good news is that the number of vehicle deaths is down very slightly compared with 2013, when 32,719 people died on American roads. . . . more »
Featured resource: ATV operator safety policy
August 2015
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are increasingly common in various industries. ATVs have different handling characteristics than other vehicles, though, and can be extremely dangerous if mishandled. In June, for example, a Madera farm worker was killed when he took a corner too quickly, struck a pole, and broke his neck. . . . more »
Enforcement: No willful citations from Cal/OSHA, but D.A. charges felonies in workers' death
July 2015
It's unusual for an employer to be criminally charged when a worker is killed or injured on the job. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Was the violation 'accident-related'? 2 recent cases hold clues
July 2015
One of the surest ways to bring Cal/OSHA to your door is for a worker to die or suffer a reportable injury. In the resulting inspections, Cal/OSHA's primary focus is on the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the worker's death or injury. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Worker deaths rose in 2013; Cal/OSHA lists risks to focus on
July 2015
In 2013, 396 Californians died on the job--a slight uptick from the year before, when 375 workers died, according to the state Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Among other notable findings, DIR's recently released figures show that California's fatality rates remain lower overall than in 2008, when the last recession hit, despite an increase in the overall employment rate. . . . more »
Indoor air quality: School study leads to recommendations for healthier cleaning
July 2015
Do you know what it feels like to not be able to breathe? If so, you may be one of the 6.8 million U.S. adults who suffer from asthma, a potentially deadly lung disease in which the airways narrow, making breathing difficult. . . . more »
Standards update: Changes made for cranes and derricks, electrical equipment, and garbage trucks
July 2015
A few minor rule changes take effect on July 1 of this year. One gives employers some breathing room on a regulatory deadline. Another brings Cal/OSHA more closely into line with federal OSHA's Globally Harmonized System of Classifation and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) changes. And the third updates the rules for garbage trucks and balers while adding protection for operators of dual compaction garbage trucks. . . . more »
Featured resource: Cleaning products safety checklist
July 2015
It's important to keep the workplace clean--free of dirt, germs, mildew, and other substances that can harm your workers' health. But the chemicals used to keep the workplace clean can cause health problems, too. Using cleaning chemicals improperly or carelessly can expose workers to substances that cause asthma, skin reactions, allergic responses, chemical burns, and chemical pneumonia. . . . more »
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 »
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