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Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor 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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Online Exclusive: Sample smoke-free workplace policy
COCA Online Exclusive June 2015
Smoking is dangerous to the health of smokers, but it is also increasingly recognized as a health hazard for nonsmokers. Because of this, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended, and many employers are moving to, completely smoke-free workplaces. If you're putting a smoke-free workplace in effect, here's a sample policy you can use to help with enforcement. . . . more »
NIOSH launches topic pages on work and reproductive health
June 2015
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has unveiled new topic pages for workers, employers, and healthcare professionals on work and reproductive health. The pages recognize . . . more »
DIR reports 2013 fatal occupational injuries
June 2015
The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) recently released data on the deaths of Californians on the job in 2013; the figures are the latest numbers available. DIR reported that the number of fata . . . 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 »
Workplace violence: Federal OSHA updates prevention guidance for healthcare, social service workers
June 2015
In 2013, more than 23,000 workers suffered significant injuries when they were assaulted on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 70 percent of those assaults were in healthcare and social service settings. Healthcare and social service workers are almost four times as likely to be injured as a result of violence than other private sector workers. . . . 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 »
Online exclusive: Checklist for identifying loading dock dangers
COCA Online Exclusive May 2015
Loading docks may seem mundane—lacking 20-foot fall hazards, overhead power lines, or exposure to vats full of chemicals—but they have an assortment of hazards that can throw out a worker's . . . more »
Cal/OSHA urges employers to prepare for high heat
May 2015
The year 2014 was the hottest calendar year on record in California since 1895, according to the National Climatic Data Center, and 2015 has already seen similarly record-breaking temperatures. In res . . . more »
NIOSH study examines 30 years of hearing loss trends
A new report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) looks at 30 years of hearing loss trends experienced by workers exposed to noise on the job, across various industri . . . 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 »
Trainer's handbook: Workers who believe these heat illness myths are at increased risk
May 2015
Heat illness is on the rise in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that hospitalizations for heat stress have increased 2 percent to 5 percent in 20 states, including California, for the period of 2001--2010. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Is substitution the answer to chemical exposures? NIOSH says 'maybe not'
May 2015
For decades, the dry cleaning solvent of choice for America's 36,000 dry cleaning shops was perchloroethylene (PERC). But a steadily growing understanding of PERC's environmental and occupational hazards and the resulting increased regulation have led dry cleaners to look for alternative chemicals. . . . more »
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