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Home | Cal/OSH Decisions

Cal/OSH Appeals Board Decisions

Appeals Board decisions: Board reverses ALJ, reinstates penalties for temporary agency, host employer
January 2016
In 2014, the California legislature passed a law (A.B. 1897) that made temporary staffing agency employers and their client employers jointly liable for the protection of temporary workers. That same year, the Cal/OSHA Appeals Board ruled in its Staffchex decision that temporary employment 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 »
Appeals Board decisions: Did supervisory failure or employee's independent action lead to the worker's death?
December 2015
Workers who attempt to perform job tasks they're not trained for place themselves and their employers at risk. One way to prevent workers from doing jobs they're not trained to do is to provide adequate supervision. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Were the employer's confined space procedures adequately protective?
November 2015
Confined spaces can be death traps for workers, isolating them in a space they cannot easily escape in the presence of invisible, subtly accumulating hazards like flammable or oxygen-deficient atmosph . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: What's the difference between 'serious' and 'serious, accident-related'? About $12,600
October 2015
After a worker failed to unplug a band saw before removing the guard to clean out shavings, his employer was cited for three different serious, accident-related violations of Cal/OSHA rules. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Disrupted routines lead to amputation, fines for employer
September 2015
We all have routines, and ideally they make us more efficient and productive. For example, routinely completing and filing paperwork keeps it from piling up and going undone, and routinely inspecting the worksite can identify problems while they're still small and easily corrected. . . . more »
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 »
Cal/OSHA faults employer for window washer's fall
July 2015
Cal/OSHA recently cited Century Window Cleaning following an investigation into a window washer's 11-story fall from the roof of a San Francisco building. Investigators determined that the washer was . . . 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 »
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 »
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 »
Appeals Board decisions: Can you violate both LOTO and machine guarding standards at the same time?
April 2015
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) and machine guarding standards make an unusual pair. Both are intended to protect workers from the hazards of moving machinery, and they address the same hazards--but in different, task-specific ways. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Did missing piece of employer's LOTO program cause worker's missing finger?
March 2015
Your lockout/tagout program is intended to prevent injuries when a machine or piece of equipment moves unexpectedly. These injuries can occur when a worker places a part of his or her body into a machine's point of operation, power transmission apparatus, or other moving parts or areas that could unexpectedly release hazardous energy. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Employer burned by scattered documents; Do you know where your written plan is?
February 2015
Cal/OSHA is serious about enforcing its heat illness prevention standard, General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) Section 3395. Sacramento-based Rosendin Electric discovered this the hard way during a "heat sweep" the agency conducted on August 15, 2012. . . . 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 »
Appeals Board decisions: Board rules that primary employers cannot delegate safety responsibilities
November 2014
At Aware Products in Chatsworth, workers manufacture and package shampoos, lotions, and other personal care products. Maria Mata, a temporary employee leased to Aware by Staffchex, a temporary agency, had worked at the facility for 5 years, operating a bottle filling and capping machine. Four to six times a week, the machine would jam. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Can trucks provide shade for workers? Not if they're parked
September 2014
The June 2014 issue of COCA covered a case in which an employer whose usual shade structure had been damaged provided alternate shade from an open trailer with a roof. The Cal/OSHA Appeals Board ruled in that case that the employer met its obligation to provide shade, water, and seating for workers. . . . more »
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