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A Publication of California Employer Resources
Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor

Safety Compliance Advice and Best Practices for California Employers

Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor helps safety professionals, business owners, and managers comply with California and federal safety regulations, keep workers safe, lower their
workers' comp costs, and avoid safety-related
fines and lawsuits.

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Featured Resources
Featured resource: Make Halloween less dangerous for your drivers
October 2014
Watch out, drivers--the busiest pedestrian night of the year is coming up. On Halloween, hordes of children will take to the streets, walking from house to house, showing off their costumes and collecting candy. It's all in good fun, but it can be dangerous. . . . more »

Featured resource: A handy field sanitation checklist
September 2014
In 2008, Coronado Irrigation Services of Shafter (in Kern County) was cited for multiple violations of Cal/OSHA's field sanitation requirements, General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) Section 3457. The employer appealed the fines, citing financial hardship--and it took 6 years before the fines were at last reduced. . . . more »

Featured resource: Cut back on tree-trimming hazards
August 2014
Joshua Pudsey was helping trim a 60-foot eucalyptus tree at a La Mesa home on November 12, 2013, when a branch fell out of control. Pudsey, a 42-year-old laborer, was struck in the head and thrown to the concrete driveway below. He was declared dead at the scene. . . . more »

Featured resource: Checklist for preventing youth agricultural injuries
July 2014
The National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety has published its 2014 fact sheet on childhood agricultural injuries in the United States. More than 955,000 youth were living on the nation's 2.2 million farms in 2012, the fact sheet reported. Nearly half of those living on farms worked on their farms, and another 258,800 nonresident youth worked as hired help. . . . more »

Featured resource: New employee safety orientation checklist
June 2014
You've finally filled some of those open positions, and it's time to put your new employees to work. First, though, you need to make sure they understand your facility's safety ins and outs. This checklist can help you ensure that you cover all of your new employee safety orientation bases. . . . more »


Most Recent Articles
Online Exclusive: Spill prevention checklist
COCA Online Exclusive October 2014
Accidental spills and releases can create fire hazards, toxic exposures, and environmental concerns at your workplace--and earthquakes, like the magnitude 6.0 quake that hit Napa in August 2014, can lead to accidental spills. . . . more »

Cal/OSHA cites employer over policy discouraging seat belt use
October 2014
Cal/OSHA has cited Menzies Aviation $77,250 for three serious accident-related, one serious, and one regulatory violation following an investigation into the death of a worker at Los Angeles Internati . . . more »

Special Report included with this issue: Hazard communication training in a GHS world
October 2014
California's Hazard Communication regulation—General Industry Safety Orders Section 5194—requires employee training to explain and reinforce the information employees get about hazardous sub . . . more »

Balers and compactors: $950K fine, conviction for Macy's in worker's baler death; 3 critical mistakes
October 2014
Roy Polanco was feeding materials into a cardboard baler/compactor at a Macy's distribution center in East Los Angeles on July 13, 2009, when tragedy struck. . . . more »

Personal protective equipment: Warehouse socked with $300,000 fine for foot hazards; How to avoid its missteps
October 2014
When your workers are exposed to hazards that can't be eliminated, you may need to provide them with personal protective equipment (PPE). There is more than one potential failure point in the process of identifying the hazard, selecting the PPE, and putting it into use. One California employer found that out after Cal/OSHA inspected it in 2012 and then reinspected in 2014. Read on to learn from its experience. . . . more »

Enforcement: New federal enforcement guidelines target 'alarming' communication tower hoisting deaths
October 2014
Fatality rates have steadily risen at communication tower worksites. The industry suffered more deaths in 2013 than in the previous 2 years combined, and by July 2014, had already suffered nine more. In response to this "alarming increase in preventable injuries and fatalities," federal OSHA has updated its communication tower directive. . . . more »

Drugs and alcohol: Are your workers taking opioid painkillers? Prevent hazards caused by abuse
October 2014
Identifying and dealing with drug use and abuse in your workplace is vital to your workers' safety. Many employers already have a drug abuse prevention program in place, complete with preemployment testing and drug screens that are conducted randomly or as needed to identify workers who are current users. . . . more »

Trainer's handbook: Teach your workers to be hardheaded about hard hats
October 2014
Workers can be resistant to wearing hard hats. After all, the hats can be hot, heavy, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and generally a pain. But it's important that they learn instead to be hardheaded about wearing and caring for their protective headgear. . . . more »

Standards: Group lockout/tagout provisions adopted; PEL revisions take effect October 1
October 2014
The state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has finalized four new rules. A new permissible exposure limit (PEL) and new rules addressing safe patient handling and guarding of vertical food mixers will take effect on October 1. New rules also address group lockout/tagout. . . . more »

Featured resource: Make Halloween less dangerous for your drivers
October 2014
Watch out, drivers--the busiest pedestrian night of the year is coming up. On Halloween, hordes of children will take to the streets, walking from house to house, showing off their costumes and collecting candy. It's all in good fun, but it can be dangerous. . . . more »

Online Exclusive: Policy for out-of-service equipment
September 2014
A system for identifying malfunctioning or broken equipment and tools, and removing them from service, is vital to worker safety. But what happens once the "out-of-service" tag is applied? Without a clear policy, workers may not know how to handle this equipment. Is the equipment permanently out of service? If not, under what conditions can it be returned to service? Our policy will help you provide your workers with important guidance. . . . more »

Governor Brown signs safety and health-related bills
September 2014
Governor Brown has signed into law two bills that address occupational safety and health matters. A.B. 326 requires every California employer to make an immediate report to Cal/OSHA by telephone or e- . . . more »

Professor resolves criminal charges from UCLA lab death case
September 2014
In the April 2012 issue of COCA, we told you about the death of Sheri Sangji, a 23-year-old research assistant in an organic chemistry laboratory at the University of California at Los Angeles . . . more »

Safety management: Encourage worker safety with an effective incentive program
September 2014
It seemed like a good idea at the time: Reward workers for working safely by providing cash and goods that they could earn as incentives. Even better, put peer pressure to good use by rewarding workers in groups; workers, wanting their premiums, would encourage one another not to cut safety corners and to stay safe. . . . more »

Hazard identification: Are your workers in double jeopardy from hazards at work and at home?
September 2014
Suppose that in his latest hearing test, you notice that a young worker is showing a standard threshold shift, an indicator that he has suffered some degree of hearing loss. Your workplace is noisy enough to cause the hearing loss, but the controls you have in place should prevent it. . . . more »

Health and wellness: What does the obesity epidemic mean for workplace safety?
September 2014
It's no secret that California's workforce is becoming heavier. With more than half of the state's adults either overweight or obese, have you considered the impact of your workers' expanding waistlines on workplace safety? Keep reading for key issues to consider. . . . more »

Trainer's handbook: Workers who know their electrical safety basics are less likely to be shocked
September 2014
Would you be shocked to learn that most of the workers injured by electricity are not electricians? They're more likely to be people who weren't supposed to encounter an exposed live circuit--people like janitors, mechanics, and painters, whose contact with electricity is unexpected and deadly. Protect these workers by making sure they understand the hazards they may be exposed to and how to stay safe. . . . 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 »

Fleet safety: NIOSH guidance offers new tips for preventing backovers on roadway construction sites
September 2014
Ready for some statistics that should make you take a step back? Between 2003 and 2010, 143 workers on road construction sites in the United States died when they were hit by vehicles backing up. And in 2011, 70 workers in all industries were killed in backover accidents. . . . more »

Featured resource: A handy field sanitation checklist
September 2014
In 2008, Coronado Irrigation Services of Shafter (in Kern County) was cited for multiple violations of Cal/OSHA's field sanitation requirements, General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) Section 3457. The employer appealed the fines, citing financial hardship--and it took 6 years before the fines were at last reduced. . . . more »

Online exclusive: Infectious disease prevention checklist
COCA Online Exclusive August 2014
After a brief respite in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, infectious "childhood" diseases have come roaring back--and these days, they're not just affecting kids. Adults, too, have been affected by recent epidemics of measles, mumps, and whooping cough. Use our checklist to make sure that your workers don't get caught in the next outbreak. . . . more »

Cal/OSHA cites industrial service provider for confined space accident
August 2014
Cal/OSHA has cited industrial service provider Shar-Craft, Inc., after an investigation of a December 2013 flash fire inside a metal tank that resulted in serious burns to an industrial painter—w . . . more »

FMCSA announces changes to reporting of adjudicated citations
August 2014
Beginning August 23, 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will allow motor carriers and drivers to request the removal of roadside inspection violations from agency data syste . . . more »

Appeals Board decisions: When a written IIPP varies from real-time conditions, does it do the job?
August 2014
When you're preparing your injury and illness prevention program (IIPP), you have a lot of boxes to check and items to cover, and it's important that you address each one. . . . more »

Fleet safety: Don't be slow about addressing a leading vehicle safety issue--speeding
August 2014
In the movies, it's exciting and glamorous: Ex-cop Brian O'Connor threads his tricked-out Nissan Skyline smoothly through the Southern California traffic at high speed on his way to a big-money illegal street race. . . . more »

Infectious diseases: Measles makes a comeback, and MERS comes on strong; Are your workers at risk?
August 2014
Between vaccinations and antibiotics, it seemed for a time that the United States was winning the battle against infectious childhood illnesses. That doesn't seem like such a sure thing these days, so employers need to take steps to protect workers from measles and other infectious diseases that are on the rise. . . . more »

Trainer's handbook: Relax! And more tips to prevent sprains, strains, and similar injuries
August 2014
If you had a lost workday incident in 2012, there's a very good chance it was caused by a sprain, strain, or tear. Injuries in that category accounted for 38 percent of total injury and illness cases requiring days away from work--and soreness or pain from nonspecified injuries made up another 15 percent of cases. Taken together, that's more than half of all lost workday incidents in the United States for 2012. . . . more »

Material handling: 8 Cal/OSHA rules for ensuring conveyor safety
August 2014
Ramon Flores worked for EZ Mix, Inc., in Sun Valley, for 12 years. When preparing to take his lunch break on February 19, 2008, he noticed the belt on an inclined conveyor needed cleaning--something he did routinely, two or three times a day. . . . more »

Safety management: Start new workers off on the right foot with a strong safety orientation
August 2014
It's as true in safety as it is in anything else: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. When a new worker enters your workplace, you have a chance to convey the importance of your safety program, the basics of your safety culture, and the regard you have for employee safety. . . . more »

Featured resource: Cut back on tree-trimming hazards
August 2014
Joshua Pudsey was helping trim a 60-foot eucalyptus tree at a La Mesa home on November 12, 2013, when a branch fell out of control. Pudsey, a 42-year-old laborer, was struck in the head and thrown to the concrete driveway below. He was declared dead at the scene. . . . more »


Featured Articles
Featured Resource: This Is a Fire Drill … Checklist
April 2012
When was your last fire or emergency evacuation drill? If more than six months ago, it's time to think about staging another. Careful planning and evaluation can help you get the most out of your drills. Use our checklist to help with both. . . . more »

Compliance Checklist: Lockout/Tagout
COCA Online Exclusive
Employers whose lockout/tagout programs are incomplete risk serious injuries to workers, and steep fines from DOSH. Use this checklist to make sure that the basic elements of your lockout/tagout program are in place. . . . more »

Infection Control Checklist
Updated November 2010
Antibiotic-resistant microorganisms are becoming increasingly common. In part, this is due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, which tends to breed resistant strains. Another factor is the spread of these organisms from the immunocompromised populations where they first . . . more »

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