FLASH REPORTS

Flash: Huge Cal/OSHA Penalties in VPP Confined Space Fatality

Four employers face millions in penalties after a contractor’s employee dies from gas exposure. What happened and who are the employers? Click here to find out.

Flash: California Extends COVID Rules

Cal/OSHA readopts a slightly slimmed-down version of its controversial COVID regulation. What’s in it? How long will it last? And what happens next? Click here

ARTICLES

Feds Move to Revise Lead Rules

While California still waits for a long-delayed proposal to revise its lead standards, Fed-OSHA is moving toward its own changes. Here’s what the Feds are considering and how you can weigh in on the issue.

Employers Cited in Fatalities

An electrocution and three fatal falls lead to alleged Cal/OSHA violations to these employers. Here’s what the agen-cy says the employee or employer did wrong, and what lessons can be drawn from the deadly incidents.

Ski Resorts & Army Want Avalanche Control Help

Cal/OSHA appears receptive to regulatory revisions to implement new avalanche control technology. But taking action is a different story. Is reform a slippery slope or simply the next logical step? Click here….

Workplace Fatality Update

Here are the latest incidents under scrutiny by Cal/OSHA from recent days.

Finance Questions COVID SRIA

Cal/OSHA failed to properly assess the costs to employers and itself of implementing its non-emergency version of the COVID regulations. And how about the estimated upside to California employers?

The Coming COVID Rule

Cal/OSHA has released draft language for its “non-emergency” version of the always controversial COVID regulation. How much of the current standard is retained, and what will the requirements be in 2023? Click here to find out.

Workplace Fatality Update

The latest deaths under investigation by Cal/OSHA from recent days.

Unions Block Autonomous Tractor Petition — Experimental Variance Continues

Labor opposition scuttled a petition to start work – or at least start talks – on regulatory work to allow driverless tractors. How long will California Agriculture and consumers suffer from more injuries and higher costs?

CASES

SANTA BARBARA CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, INC. DBA GRANADA THEATRE

49 COR 40-8553 [¶23,181R]

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH APPEALS BOARD – AUTHORITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES, SETTLEMENT ORDER
Labor Code § 6617(a), Board reg. §§ 350.1(a) and 364.2(f) (2022) – The Appeals Board rejected Employer’s contentions that the Appeals Board administrative law judge exceeded the Board’s authority in issuing a settlement order; that Employer entered its settlement with the Division on the basis of misrepresentation or mutual mistake; or that Employer was entitled to rescission of the settlement on grounds of unconscionability.

Digest of COSHAB’s Denial of Petition for Reconsideration dated June 6, 2022, Inspection No. 1311884.

 

WEBCOR BUILDERS, INC.

49 COR 40-8551 [¶23,180R]

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH APPEALS BOARD – HEARING, CONTEMPT; BAD FAITH ACTIONS AND TACTICS, EVIDENCE
Board reg. § 381 (2022) – The Appeals Board determined that although the Division failed to timely upload and exchange all exhibits that could be introduced at the video hearing, exclusion of the Division’s exhibits and grant of Employer’s appeal was not an appropriate remedy.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated May 23, 2022, Inspection No. 1416143.

 

RANCH OF THE GOLDEN HAWK

49 COR 40-8549 [¶23,179R]

JURISDICTION – EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP
Labor Code §§ 6303, 6304, 6304.1, 6307, 2750.5 (2022) – The tree work at issue was employment, not household domestic service. Thus, Employer was an “employer” for purposes of the citations issued by the Division, following a fatal injury accident. 

REGULATIONS OF THE DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH – REPORTING WORK-CONNECTED INJURIES
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 342(a) (2022) – Employer failed to report an employee’s fatal injury to the Division, a regulatory violation.

 GENERAL PLANT EQUIPMENT AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS – TREE WORK, MAINTENANCE OR REMOVAL, GENERAL, QUALIFIED TREE WORKER
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3421(b) (2022) – Employer violated §3421(b) by failing to ensure the work location where tree work was being done was under the direction of a qualified tree worker, a serious, accident-related violation.

GENERAL PLANT EQUIPMENT AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS – TREE WORK, MAINTENANCE OR REMOVAL, TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3421(c) (2022) – Employer violated §3421(c) by failing to provide training and instruction to tree workers in hazards involved in the job, proper and safe use of all equipment, and other topics, a serious violation. 

GENERAL PLANT EQUIPMENT AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS – TREE WORK, MAINTENANCE OR REMOVAL, JOB BRIEFING CONDUCTED BY QUALIFIED TREE WORKER BEFORE WORK ASSIGNMENT
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3421(f) (2022) – Employer violated §3421(f) by failing to ensure a job briefing was conducted by a qualified tree worker before tree work began, a serious violation.

GENERAL PLANT EQUIPMENT AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS – TREE WORK, MAINTENANCE OR REMOVAL, RESCUE PROCEDURES AND TRAINING IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3421(l) (2022) – Employer violated §3421(l) by failing to establish rescue procedures and train tree workers on emergency response procedures, a serious violation. 

GENERAL PLANT EQUIPMENT AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS – TREE WORK, MAINTENANCE OR REMOVAL, SAFE WORK PROCEDURES, PRUNING, TRIMMING AND TREE REMOVAL OPERATIONS
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3427(b) (2022) – Employer violated §3427(b) by failing to establish and review a method of communication for tree workers and establish a drop zone, a serious, accident-related violation.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated May 23, 2022, Inspection No. 1224802.

GENERAL DYNAMICS NASSCO

49 COR 40-8545 [¶23,178]

INJURY AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM (IIPP) – PROCEDURES FOR IDENTIFYING AND EVALUATING WORKPLACE HAZARDS
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3203(a) (2022) – Employer failed to establish, implement, and maintain an effective IIPP, because it did not effectively implement its procedures for identifying, evaluating, and correcting hazards associated with suspended loads, a general violation.

CRANES AND OTHER HOISTING EQUIPMENT – SLINGS, SAFE OPERATING PRACTICES, EMPLOYEES KEPT CLEAR OF LOADS ABOUT TO BE LIFTED AND OF SUSPENDED LOADS
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 5042(a)(9) (2022) – Employer failed to keep an employee clear of a suspended load, a serious, accident-related violation. Employer failed to establish the independent employee action defense.

Summary of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated April 8, 2022, Inspection No. 1300984 (San Diego, CA).

WRIGHT TREE SERVICE OF THE WEST, INC.

49 COR 40-8541 [¶23,176R]

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH APPEALS BOARD – RECONSIDERATION, FINAL ORDER OR DECISION, SETTLEMENT ORDER
Labor Code § 6614; Board reg. § 390.3 (2022) – Employer’s motion to enforce settlement was untimely. The Appeals Board, thus, lacked continuing authority to enforce the settlement order, such that it could issue an order requiring the Division to comply with the order’s terms.

Digest of COSHAB’s Denial of Petition for Reconsideration dated April 22, 2022, Inspection No. 1425896.

MILLENNIUM REINFORCING, INC.

49 COR 40-8541 [¶23,177R]

SAFE PRACTICES AND PERSONAL PROTECTION – PERSONAL SAFETY DEVICES AND SAFEGUARDS, FOOT PROTECTION
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3385(a) (2022) – The Appeals Board affirmed the ALJ’s decision that Employer violated the safety order by failing to require appropriate foot protection for employees exposed to foot injuries from falling objects and crushing or penetrating actions, a serious, accident-related violation. Employees were exposed to the hazard of foot injuries from falling rebar from dropping rebar that they manually carried, and from elevated rebar that could fall from forklifts or pallets. Moreover, the injured employee actually was exposed to foot injuries from crushing or penetrating actions as the result of accidental contact with a moving forklift. Employer failed to require appropriate foot protection meeting the specifications and standards referenced in §3385(c), nor did it demonstrate ASTM-compliant foot protection would not offer any protection, or that it would be inappropriate for the workplace hazards.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated April 25, 2022, Inspection No. 1290766.

ECO-BAY SERVICES

49 COR 40-8539 [¶23,175R]

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH APPEALS BOARD – SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS AND DUTY TO NOTIFY OTHERS OF APPEAL AND HEARING, SETTLEMENT ORDER
Board reg. §364.2 (2022) – A unilateral mistake by Employer’s representative in accepting the Division’s settlement offer did not constitute a sufficient basis for the Appeals Board to rescind the settlement order that was subsequently issued.

Digest of COSHAB’s Denial of Petition for Reconsideration dated April 11, 2022, Inspection No. 1443556.

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION

49 COR 40-8537 [¶23,174]

SAFE PRACTICES AND PERSONAL PROTECTION – PERSONAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT FOR FIRE FIGHTERS, WILDLAND FIRE FIGHTING REQUIREMENTS, THERMAL PROTECTION OF THE EARS AND NECK
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3410(c) (2022) – The Division did not establish that Employer failed to provide protection against burns to the ears and necks of firefighters engaged in wildland firefighting who were exposed to injurious heat and flame by way of flared neck shields attached to the brim of helmets, hoods, shrouds, snoods, or high collars with throat straps or other equivalent methods.

Summary of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated March 30, 2022, Inspection No. 1360169 (Sacramento, CA).