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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: 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 »

Disaster Recovery in California:How to Get Up and Running Safely Following Extreme Weather and Other Natural EventsDisaster Recovery in California:How to Get Up and Running Safely Following Extreme Weather and Other Natural Events
California Employer Resources Safety Webinar
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
10:30 a.m. to Noon (Pacific)

Whether your facility is located along the coast, in the middle of California's deserts, or somewhere in the dense forestlands, at some point an extreme weather event or a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or tsunami, will likely affect your operations. Given the unpredictable and ferocious nature of weather, no one can fully predict or prepare for what may be in store, but you can prepare considerably so you're ready to effectively manage smaller extreme weather events and reasonably, and safely, handle larger events. The real trick is sitting down ahead of time and developing an effective strategy to deal with the potential risks and exposures that could impact your organization. Join us on August 7, when our speaker will explain how to develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan under Cal/OSHA that will effectively address extreme weather events. This event will help those who already have an emergency preparedness plan already in place with review and evaluation so they can make valuable upgrades and improvements. . . .
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: 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 »

Online Exclusive: Checklist for bite and sting prevention
COCA Online Exclusive July 2014
Are your outdoor workers being bugged? Outdoor workers in California may encounter a variety of insects that can transmit diseases or inject venom. Although in most cases this is no more than an annoyance, enough serious diseases and deadly allergies are in play to merit concern. . . . more »

Cal/OSHA targets Bay Area construction sites
July 2014
Following a recent series of fatal accidents in the region, Cal/OSHA is focusing on safety compliance at construction sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. The agency has deployed investigators to insp . . . more »

NIOSH examines ladder fatalities
July 2014
A research team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that 43 percent of fatal falls in the United States have involved a ladder. Among all workers, about 20 percent of fa . . . more »

Appeals Board decisions: Just because it's 'in writing' doesn't mean it's a 'written plan'
July 2014
On August 15, 2012, Cal/OSHA inspected the worksite of Rosendin Electric, an electrical subcontractor performing work in a Sacramento parking garage. The inspector requested a copy of Rosendin's heat illness prevention plan, but the employer was unable to provide one at the time. . . . more »

Standards update: Title 8 revisions take effect July 1
July 2014
The state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has finalized changes that are effective July 1 for Cal/OSHA standards in five areas: hand protection, digger derricks, powered industrial trucks, compaction equipment, and crane hand signals. . . . more »

Injury prevention: Don't let these 4 hazards give you the summertime blues!
July 2014
California summer is back in full swing. That may mean long hours on the beach or hiking in the mountains, but it could also mean long days in the field or at the construction site and hot days indoors in the workplace. Are you prepared to face the worst that California's sunny, sweltering weather has to offer? . . . more »

Trainer's handbook: Give your restaurant workers some (safety) tips
July 2014
Want a recipe for danger? Put a lot of people in a tight space with lots of sharp edges, hot surfaces, open flames, and chemicals--and then put a lot of pressure on them to move quickly. If you've got a restaurant, you've got workers who are at risk for a whole menu of injuries. Proper training can alert them to hazards and enhance their safety. . . . more »

Safety management: Fatalities, most-cited standards give a picture of state's safety by numbers
July 2014
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has finalized its 2012 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), revising California's figures slightly upward from 339 to 375. Nationwide, 4,628 workers were killed in 2012, the second-lowest annual total recorded since 1992, when the first CFOI was conducted. And Cal/OSHA has released its list of most-cited standards for 2013. Read on for a numerical overview of California workplace safety. . . . more »

Workplace violence: Train healthcare workers to respond more effectively
July 2014
In 2013, two nurses at a Milwaukee hospital heard gunshots. Instead of taking cover, they ran toward the gunfire. Only when they spotted the armed man running at them did they turn and flee. . . . 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 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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