By Kimaili “Ken” Davis, ARM
Many employers are not aware that serious work related injuries and illnesses must be reported to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA.
Cal OSHA protects workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California through its research and standards, enforcement, and consultation programs.
If an employee has a fatality or serious injury/illness at work, the employer must report the injury to Cal OSHA within 8 hours. This time frame can be extended to 24 hours for good cause. If the employer doesn’t report timely, the fine is $5,000. Another consideration is that if 911 is called, the fire department will likely call OSHA as well. This does not alleviate the employer’s requirement to call OSHA. If Cal OSHA is called by 911 and not by the employer, the unannounced visit is put to the top of their list. Please click here for information about the time frame and questions asked by Cal OSHA.
After a serious incident, Cal OSHA will do an inspection of the workplace. This visit will be made without warning. There is a way to manage the process and can be discussed with a qualified insurance broker, should that happen. At Momentous, we urge clients to contact us right away to help them navigate the process. During that inspection, Cal OSHA will be checking for any safety violations. Some of the things an employer needs to have are 1) OSHA 300 logs for 5 years, 2) An Injury & Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) in place, 3) records of regular safety meetings, 4) Material Safety Data Sheets, 5) Fire Extinguishers in appropriate locations, 6) Proper use of Personal Protective Equipment, 7) Proper machine guarding, 8) Warning notices in place and a generally safe environment. There are other considerations that a safety professional will be able to identify.
In addition, an employer can request a Cal OSHA inspection free of charge. In this setting, OSHA is there to help and not charge fines. Of course, this has to be done prior to an incident. Please click here to arrange an appointment. Again, this is free of charge for California employers.
If you would like to further discuss the issues raised here, you may contact Kimaili Davis at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate. Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.