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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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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 »
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 »
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