FLASH REPORTS

Flash: ETS Revisions Approved – and Soon Effective

Cal/OSHA's Standards Board, on its third try, adopts revisions to the controversial COVID emergency standard. And now the governor has weighed in on its effective date.

Flash: Governor Eyes Executive Order on COVID ETS

With Cal/OSHA expected to approve a much-anticipated revision to its COVID emergency rule, the governor says he will take action to cover any regulatory gaps not in alignment with the state's reopening.

ARTICLES

Reality Begins Its Return…

Cal/OSHA – Masks Finally Come Off

The workplace masks are coming off indoors, as the Cal/OSHA Standards Board votes on an emergency standard version that actually sticks. Here are the changes.

Consuming Question on Hospital PPE: Here’s Cal/OSHA’s Answer

What's the definition of “normal consumption” when it comes to respirators and other PPE in hospitals? A state law requires a benchmark, and Cal/OSHA has published one in a proposed emergency regulation. But how do California hospitals feel about new rules?

Settlements See Fractions Paid

Cal/OSHA proposed substantial penalties when citing these employers in fatal and serious injury incidents. But how much did they have to pay when all was said and done?

Workplace Fatality Update

There are 10 new workplace deaths in California, two of them from COVID

COVID Regulations To Get New Revisions

Another marathon Cal/OSHA meeting means more changes are coming to the controversial COVID emergency standard. What does this mean for the masking question?
Legislative Update

Cal/OSHA Bills Advance

Occupational safety and health legislation is getting closer to passage in the California statehouse. Employers are worried. Click here to see what they’re worried about.

Technical Diving Reg Approved

OAL signs off on official recognition of “technical” diving after Cal/OSHA navigated Fed-OSHA objections. Here are the revisions and when it becomes effective.

Workplace Fatality Update

There are five new workplace fatalities – only one new COVID case. The pandemic fatality occurred at El Proyecto Del Barrio, a community healthcare center in the Los Angeles Area. … Read More »

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CASES

GRIMMWAY ENTERPRISES, INC., DBA COACHELLA COLD STORAGE

48 COR 40-8439 [¶23,122R]

JURISDICTION – PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION, INTERLOCUTORY
Labor Code § 6614 (2021) – Even if Employer’s petition for reconsideration raised questions of law, which the Appeals Board may rule on under an exception to the general rule that interlocutory matters are not appealable, the Board declined to reconsider the petition based on its merits.

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH APPEALS BOARD – TIME AND PLACE OF HEARING, VIDEO HEARINGS
Board reg. § 376(d) (2021) – The Appeals Board has authority to hold video hearings under its rules and procedures governing time and place of hearings. An executive order issued by the governor prohibited the Board from holding in-person hearings during the pendency of a state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH APPEALS BOARD – TIME AND PLACE OF HEARING, DUE PROCESS
Board reg. § 376.1 (2021) – The Appeals Board rejected Employer’s contention that it had a constitutional right to an in-person administrative hearing. The Board held that a video/electronic hearing provided sufficient due process in the administrative context.

Digest of COSHAB’s Denial of Petition for Reconsideration dated June 7, 2021, Inspection No. 1351863.

JAFEC USA, INC.

48 COR 40-8437 [¶23,121R]

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ORDERS – HAULAGE AND EARTH MOVING, WARNING METHODS
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 1592(e) (2021) – The Appeals Board affirmed the ALJ’s decision finding Employer failed to implement sufficient controls for hauling operations to ensure vehicle operators knew of the presence of employees on foot in the area of operation, a serious, accident-related violation. Employer’s policy of instructing on-foot employees to watch out for the equipment, and to communicate with operators through eye contact and hand signals, was insufficient to inform an excavator operator of an employee’s location.

DEFENSES – INDEPENDENT EMPLOYEE ACTION (IEAD)
The Appeals Board affirmed the ALJ’s decision finding Employer failed to establish the second and fifth elements of the independent employee action defense. The Board additionally concluded Employer failed to establish the third element of the IEAD, because its system of eye contact and hand signals was not effectively enforced to notify an excavator operator of an employee’s presence; and that the IEAD was not established with regard to the second employee involved in the accident, the excavator operator.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated June 2, 2021, Inspection No. 1290383.

 

MCELROY METAL MILL INC.

48 COR 40-8435 [¶23,119R]

POWER TRANSMISSION EQUIPMENT, PRIME MOVERS, MACHINES AND MACHINE PARTS – PRIME MOVERS AND MACHINERY, MOVING PARTS OF MACHINERY OR EQUIPMENT, GUARDING
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 4002(a) (2021) – Employer failed to guard moving parts of a metal processing machine, a serious violation. Employees were exposed to rotating and rolling parts of the machine that were not guarded either by the frame of the machine or by location.

POINTS OF OPERATION AND OTHER HAZARDOUS PARTS OF MACHINERY – SCOPE AND GENERAL DEFINITIONS, GUARDING REQUIRED
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 4184(b) (2021) – Employer failed to guard points of operation of three metal pressing, clamping and folding machines, a serious violation.

Digest of COSHAB’s Denial of Petition for Reconsideration dated May 28, 2021, Inspection No. 1405439.

WALMART INC #5193

48 COR 40-8436 [¶23,120R]

GENERAL PHYSICAL CONDITIONS AND STRUCTURES ORDERS, INJURY AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM (IIPP) – METHODS AND PROCEDURES FOR CORRECTING UNSAFE OR UNHEALTHY CONDITIONS, WORK PRACTICES AND WORK PROCEDURES IN A TIMELY MANNER BASED ON SEVERITY OF HAZARD
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3203(a)(6) (2021) – The Appeals Board denied Employer’s petition for reconsideration, which challenged an ALJ’s decision that Employer failed to adopt appropriate methods and procedures to correct the hazard of heat exposure in the workplace. The independent employee action defense was not applicable because a supervisor committed the violation.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated June 2, 2021, Inspection No. 1398365.

HANOVER R S CONSTRUCTION LLC.

48 COR 40-8433 [¶23,118R]

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ORDERS – FLOOR, ROOF, AND WALL OPENINGS TO BE GUARDED, TEMPORARY RAILINGS AND TOEBOARDS OR COVERS
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 1632(b) (2021) – The Appeals Board reversed an ALJ decision that Employer, a controlling employer, violated the safety order by failing to secure a floor opening cover. Employer established the due diligence affirmative defense.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated May 26, 2021, Inspection No. 1205077.

USA WASTE OF CALIFORNIA, INC. DBA BLUE BARREL DISPOSAL SERVICES

48 COR 40-8431 [¶23,117R]

POINTS OF OPERATION AND OTHER HAZARDOUS PARTS OF MACHINERY – SCOPE AND GENERAL DEFINITIONS, GUARDING REQUIRED
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 4184(b) (2021) – The Appeals Board reversed the ALJ’s decision that the Division failed to establish Employer violated the safety order. The Board concluded Employer failed to ensure the point of operation on a crimping machine was guarded.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated April 27, 2021, Inspection No. 1384029.

ICON WEST

48 COR 40-8429 [¶23,116]

JURISDICTION – STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Labor Code § 6317 (2021) – The Division failed to issue citations to Employer within six months of the date the Division discovered the alleged violations. The ALJ vacated those citations, but allowed one cited violation, which was deemed ongoing until refresher training was received, to proceed to hearing on the merits.

Summary of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated April 19, 2021, Inspection No. 1449027 (Los Angeles, CA).

OLAM WEST COAST, INC. DBA OLAM SPICES AND VEGETABLE INGREDIENTS

48 COR 40-8428 [¶23,115]

SAFE PRACTICES AND PERSONAL PROTECTION, PERSONAL SAFETY DEVICES AND SAFEGUARDS – HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION, SUPERVISOR TRAINING
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3395(h)(2) (2021) – Employer failed to provide effective heat illness training to each supervisory employee, a general violation.

SAFE PRACTICES AND PERSONAL PROTECTION, PERSONAL SAFETY DEVICES AND SAFEGUARDS – HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION, ACCLIMATIZATION
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3395(g)(2) (2021) – Employer failed to observe employees newly assigned to a high-heat area for signs or symptoms of heat illness during the first 14 days of the employee’s employment, a serious violation.

SAFE PRACTICES AND PERSONAL PROTECTION, PERSONAL SAFETY DEVICES AND SAFEGUARDS – HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION, EMPLOYEE TRAINING
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3395(h)(1) (2021) – Employer failed to provide effective heat illness training to each non-supervisory employee before they began work reasonably anticipated to result in heat illness, a serious violation.

Summary of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated April 14, 2021, Inspection No. 1334740 (Fresno, CA).