OSHA Regulations

Are you interested in information about what Cal/OSHA regulations are applicable to your business? The following is an extremely abbreviated list of some of the legislation that might apply to you. For a complete list of actual regulations, please visit the Cal/OSHA Web site.

Senate Bill 198

In 1989, the rules for doing business in California took a drastic turn. Senate Bill 198 (SB 198), concerned with occupational health and safety, was approved. This bill requires employers to identify and correct hazards existing in the workplace to protect their employees. According to the Legislative Counsel’s Digest of the bill, it states that “This Bill [SB 198] would require every employer to establish, implement, and maintain an effective written injury prevention program including specified elements, and to provide specified training of employees in general safe and healthy work practices.”

Assembly Bill 2249

In addition to SB 198, Assembly Bill No. 2249 (AB 2249) established that dangerous business practices can be considered a crime and the responsible parties can be held criminally accountable. The Legislative Digest states “This bill [AB 2249] would provide that a corporation or person who is a manager with respect to a product, facility, equipment, process, place of employment, or business practice, is guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, if the corporation or manager has actual knowledge of a serious concealed immanent that is subject to regulatory authority of an appropriate agency and is associated with that product or a component of that product or business practice and knowingly fails to inform the Division of Occupational Safety and Health and warn affected employees, as specified.”

California Labor Code and Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations

In 1991, the next phase of Occupational Safety Control took effect. Labor Code Section 6400 requires every employer to “provide a safe and healthful workplace for his/her employees,” and Title 8 (T8) of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) “requires every California employer to have an effective injury and illness prevention program in writing that must be in accord with T8 CCR Section 3203 of the General Industry Safety Orders.”

Title 8, Section 3203–Injury and Illness Prevention Programs

Every employer shall establish, implement and maintain an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program in writing that meets the following minimum requirements:

  1. Identify the person or persons with authority and responsibility for implementing the Program.
  2. Include a system for ensuring that employees comply with safe and healthy work practices.
  3. Include a system for communicating with employees in a form readily understandable by all affected employees on matters relating to occupational safety and health.
  4. Include procedures for identifying and evaluating workplace hazards including scheduled periodic inspections to identify unsafe conditions and work practices. The Inspections shall be made to identify and evaluate hazards:
    • When the Program is first established;
    • Whenever new substances, processes, procedures, or equipment are introduced to the workplace that represent a new occupational safety and health hazard;
    • Whenever the employer is made aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard;
  5. Include a procedure to investigate occupational injury or occupational illness.
  6. Include methods and/or procedures for correction of unsafe or unhealthy conditions, work practices and work procedures in a timely manner based upon the severity of the hazard:
    • When observed or discovered; AND
    • When an imminent hazard exists which cannot be immediately abated without endangering employee(s).
  7. Provide training and instruction:
    • When the Program is first established;
    • To all new employees;
    • To all employees given a new job assignment for which training has not yet been previously received;
    • Whenever new substances, processes, procedures or equipment are introduced to the workplace and represent a new hazard;
    • Whenever the employer is made aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard;
    • For supervisors to familiarize themselves with the safety and health hazards to which employees under their immediate direction and control may be exposed.
  8. Records of the Steps taken to implement and maintain the Program shall include:
    • Records of scheduled and periodic inspections;
    • Documentation of safety and health training required for each employee.
  9. Employers who elect to use a labor/management Safety and Health Committee must:
    • Meet regularly, but not less than quarterly;
    • Prepare and make available to the affected employees, written records of the safety and health issues discussed at Committee Meetings;
    • Review results of periodic, scheduled workplace inspections;
    • Review investigation of alleged hazardous conditions brought to the attention of any committee member;
    • Submit recommendations to assist in the evaluation of employee safety suggestions;
    • Verify abatement action taken by the employer to abate citations issued by Cal/OSHA.

Additionally, there are special regulations pertaining to the following industries:

  • Construction
  • Electrical Safety
  • Petroleum
  • Ship Building, Ship Repair, and Ship Breaking
  • Telecommunications
  • Tunnels

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