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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
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Featured Resources
Featured resource: Protect your holiday maintenance crew against 4 hazards
December 2014
Many manufacturing facilities shut down over the holidays, giving maintenance workers a chance to strip down facilities and machinery for heavy-duty annual rehabilitation. Your holiday maintenance crew could be exposed to hazards they don't routinely deal with. Before you turn them loose, remind them of these hazards and how to protect themselves. . . . more »

Enforcement: Employer agrees to pay $1 million fine; How LO/TO could have prevented tragedy
November 2014
On August 19, 2011, a knitting machine at the American Apparel factory in Garden Grove jammed. While 49-year-old Tuan Phan was inside the machine trying to clear the jam, it started up, crushing him. This wasn't the first time such an incident had occurred at the factory. . . . more »

Featured Resource: Daily inspection checklist for cranes
November 2014
Cranes do a lot of our heavy lifting and, like any workhorse piece of equipment, require regular inspections and maintenance. . . . 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 »

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 »


Most Recent Articles
Online Exclusive: If you have to chill, be prepared
COCA Online Exclusive December 2014
In California, you might not think too much about cold weather. Unless you're camping, skiing in the mountains, or traveling, you might never encounter weather cold enough to cause concern. But that means when you do encounter cold temperatures, you might be less well prepared for them than someone from a cooler climate. . . . more »

Preliminary BLS numbers suggest decline in fatal work-related injuries
December 2014
Early figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show a decline in fatal work-related injuries in 2013, but not every group shared in the downward trend. According to the preliminary National C . . . more »

NIOSH releases updated emergency preparedness webpage
December 2014
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has announced a new version of its Emergency Preparedness and Response Directory webpage. The pag . . . more »

Enforcement: Can the state assess unfair competition penalties as a result of Cal/OSHA violations?
December 2014
On September 22, 2014, after 2 years of legal wrangling, the California Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case stemming from an employer's Cal/OSHA violations. The case raised critical questions regarding potentially expanded liability for California employers over safety and health citations. . . . more »

Hazard identification: Let's talk about the weather; The impact of climate change on safety
December 2014
Are you worried about the weather? With the state in its third consecutive year of below-normal rainfall, struggling through the worst drought in its recorded history, many people are dealing with water-related issues. Nearly 60 percent of the state is now in "exceptional drought," the most severe on the U.S. Drought Monitor's five-point scale, and 95 percent is in "severe drought." . . . more »

Legislative update: 4 safety and health bills go to the governor
December 2014
In its most recent session, the California legislature passed four bills that reflect some legislators' concerns about workplace safety and health. . . . more »

Trainer's handbook: Carve out some time to discuss chain saw safety
December 2014
Hall of Fame golfer Greg Norman was trimming some tree branches on his property in Florida in September 2014. One branch turned out to be heavier than he anticipated and fell onto his hand, pushing his left arm down onto the blade of the chainsaw. . . . more »

Ergonomics: What's in Cal/OSHA's new patient-handling standard? 3 things hospitals need
December 2012
In 2011, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (A.B.) 1136, the Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act. It created a new Section 6403.5 in the Labor Code, requiring all general acute care hospitals to adopt "a patient protection and healthcare worker back and musculoskeletal injury prevention plan"--and requiring the state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) to create an implementing regulation for employers. . . . more »

Agriculture: Following worker exposures, Cal/DPR proposes new restrictions on chlorpyrifos
December 2014
In 2007, more than 70 agricultural workers were de-leafing table grapes at a vineyard in Tulare County while an adjacent almond orchard was being sprayed with pesticides. Twenty-six workers became ill, reporting headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms. Additional incidents in Monterey County in 2008 and in Kern County in 2009 left 13 workers ill. . . . more »

Featured resource: Protect your holiday maintenance crew against 4 hazards
December 2014
Many manufacturing facilities shut down over the holidays, giving maintenance workers a chance to strip down facilities and machinery for heavy-duty annual rehabilitation. Your holiday maintenance crew could be exposed to hazards they don't routinely deal with. Before you turn them loose, remind them of these hazards and how to protect themselves. . . . more »

Online exclusive: Tips for healthy air travel
COCA Online Exclusive November 2014
The holidays are a prime travel time for many American workers--our romantic notions of "home for the holidays" and "I'll be home for Christmas" are founded in a national holiday habit. But after the holidays, you'll want your workers back on the job in solid physical shape. Our air travel tips can help make sure they travel safely and arrive back in the workplace in good health this holiday season. . . . more »

NIOSH publishes sleep tips for truck drivers
November 2014
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a new resource that provides truck drivers with tips for improving sleep quality to boost their health and reduce th . . . more »

Federal OSHA announces top violations for FY 2014
November 2014
In September 2014, a representative of federal OSHA shared preliminary numbers for the top 10 most frequently cited standards in fiscal year (FY) 2014. Although some items on the list shifted their po . . . more »

Emergency preparedness: Find the fault! Earthquake preparedness tips for businesses
November 2014
There have been widespread rumblings in the wake of the Napa earthquake in August that California got lucky. The overnight earthquake hit when most people were home in bed; at 3:20 a.m. on a Sunday morning, even the bars were closed. Employers in the affected areas were certainly fortunate--if they had anyone on duty, it was probably the smallest and least busy of their shifts. . . . 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 »

Trainer's handbook: Forklift safety starts with proper maintenance--and that starts with training
November 2014
When it comes to forklifts, operator training is considered absolutely vital for safety. It's important not to overlook the safety of the machinery itself, though--and the safety of the people who keep the machinery in good working order. . . . more »

Hazard identification: Cooperation and coordination create better protection for temporary workers
November 2014
When an employer hires a full-time, permanent employee, there is no question about who will perform the training, provide the protective equipment, and keep the records pertaining to the worker's expo . . . more »

Safety management: Use near misses to get everyone thinking about safety
November 2014
Production worries. Procurement worries. Personnel worries. Personal worries. . . . more »

Enforcement: Employer agrees to pay $1 million fine; How LO/TO could have prevented tragedy
November 2014
On August 19, 2011, a knitting machine at the American Apparel factory in Garden Grove jammed. While 49-year-old Tuan Phan was inside the machine trying to clear the jam, it started up, crushing him. This wasn't the first time such an incident had occurred at the factory. . . . more »

Featured Resource: Daily inspection checklist for cranes
November 2014
Cranes do a lot of our heavy lifting and, like any workhorse piece of equipment, require regular inspections and maintenance. . . . more »

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 »


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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