FLASH REPORTS

Flash: Cal/OSHA’s First COVID Cites

Cal/OSHA issues citations to 11 employers for allegedly failing to protect workers from COVID exposures. Here's who they are.

Flash: Judge Denies Injunction Against Amazon S.F.

An employee sues the online giant over conditions at its San Francisco grocery warehouse related to COVID-19. Here's why the judge says a restraining order is not warranted.

ARTICLES

Is An Emergency Regulation for COVID Really Necessary?

There are questions being raised about the necessity for the promulgation of an emergency regulation for Cal/OSHA to enforce regarding COVID-19. There are also controversies concerning the nature of the reg itself. Can a regulation be promulgated before treatments and vaccines effectively end the pandemic? Paid Premium Subscribers get the inside information right here.

Another Revision to Wildfire Smoke Rule

Now that an emergency rule has been extended into 2021, Cal/OSHA is fine-tuning its “placeholder” permanent standard for outdoor employees. Here's what the latest change is and how you can weigh in on it.

A Huge COVID Case

Two Southern California employers face hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential penalties after allegedly ignoring COVID protections, with a score of worker illnesses and one death.

Standing Down to Prevent Falling Down

By: Reported from Scottsdale, Arizona, by Rick Waldinger, Cal-OSHA Reporter’s Digest Editor
This year's fall-prevention stand-down events were virtual affairs because of the pandemic. Here's what safety experts are saying about the trends for this hazard.

Workplace Fatality Update

Here are the recent fatality investigations being conducted by Cal/OSHA, including 13 new COVID cases.

What Cal/OSHA is Looking for in COVID Inspections

Cal/OSHA recently cited 11 employers for failing to protect employees from COVID. Find out what businesses are cited -- what for and see the accompanying 6 charts and graphs. Understand what specific things Cal/OSHA is looking for. Premium subscribers can find out what Cal/OSHA is looking at when it inspects workplaces by clicking here.

Cal/OSHA Appeals Board Rule Changes

Rules for appealing Cal/OSHA citations have changed. The idea is to make things easier for employers, and also ease some of Cal/OSHA's burdens. Premium subscribers can find out all about the new appeals process. Click here.

Settlements End Cal/OSHA Cases

In fatality, injury, complaint and other Cal/OSHA cases, settlement talks usually result in reduced penalties. Here are some of the most noteworthy recent settlements and how the two sides got there.

CASES

APTCO, LLC.

47 COR 40-8331 [¶23,067]

SAFE PRACTICES AND PERSONAL PROTECTION, PERSONAL SAFETY DEVICES AND SAFEGUARDS – HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3395(f)(2) (2020) – Employer failed to implement its emergency procedures when a new employee exhibited signs of possible heat illness, a serious violation.

Summary of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated August 3, 2020, Inspection No. 1332715 (Delano, CA).

EMERICARE INC. DBA BROOKDALE NORTHRIDGE

47 COR 40-8329 [¶23,066R]

ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDERS, LOW-VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDERS – REQUIREMENTS FOR ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS, IDENTIFICATION OF EQUIPMENT, MOTORS AND APPLIANCES
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 2340.22(a) (2020) – The Appeals Board affirmed the ALJ’s finding that Employer failed to label electrical panels, a general violation.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDERS, LOW-VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL SAFETY ORDERS – CONDUCTORS ENTERING BOXES, CABINETS, OR FITTINGS, UNUSED OPENINGS IN CABINETS, BOXES, AND FITTINGS EFFECTIVELY CLOSED
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 2473.1(b) (2020) – The Appeals Board affirmed the ALJ’s finding that Employer failed to close unused openings in electrical panels, a general violation.

POINTS OF OPERATION AND OTHER HAZARDOUS PARTS OF MACHINERY, FOOD AND TOBACCO MACHINERY, GARBAGE DISPOSAL EQUIPMENT
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 4559(a) (2020) – Reversing the ALJ’s finding, the Appeals Board concluded the Division did not prove Employer failed to use any of the alternative means of compliance permitted in the safety order. Thus, it did not establish that Employer failed to adequately guard the feed throat of a sink-mounted disposal unit.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated August 7, 2020, Inspection No. 1300039.

 

ANTELOPE VALLEY COLLEGE

47 COR 40-8327 [¶23,065]

JURISDICTION – FEDERAL PREEMPTION
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations governing a pressure test procedure for aircraft engines preempted application of the lockout/tagout provisions of §3314. The safety order could not be enforced without impairing the FAA’s acknowledged supremacy in the area of inflight safety.

Summary of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated July 15, 2020, Inspection No. 1356645 (Lancaster, CA).

SSA TERMINALS (OAKLAND), LLC. DBA SSA MARINE TERMINAL

47 COR 40-8323 [¶23,063]

GENERAL PHYSICAL CONDITIONS AND STRUCTURES ORDERS, STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS – FLOOR OPENINGS, FLOOR HOLES, SKYLIGHTS AND ROOFS
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3212(a)(2)(A) (2020) – The Division failed to establish Employer violated the safety order with respect to any one of the four platforms that were the subject of the citations.

Summary of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated July 13, 2020, Inspection No. 1303461 (Oakland, CA).

SSA TERMINALS (OAKLAND), LLC. DBA SSA MARINE TERMINAL

47 COR 40-8324 [¶23,064]

GENERAL PHYSICAL CONDITIONS AND STRUCTURES ORDERS – ACCESS, WORK SPACE, AND WORK AREAS, FIXED LADDERS, SPECIFIC FEATURES
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3277(d)(2) (2020) – Employer violated the safety order by using ladders with first rungs excessively high off the ground. The ALJ reduced the penalty based on the adjustment factor of extent.

GENERAL PHYSICAL CONDITIONS AND STRUCTURES ORDERS – ACCESS, WORK SPACE, AND WORK AREAS, USE OF FIXED LADDERS
Cal. Code Regs, tit. 8, § 3278(a) (2020) – Employer violated the safety order by failing to ensure that an employee was prohibited from carrying equipment or materials that prevented safe use of a ladder, a serious, accident-related violation. The ALJ reduced the penalty based on the adjustment factor of extent.

Summary of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated July 13, 2020, Inspection No. 1303471 (Oakland, CA).

 

SAPUTO CHEESE USA, INC.

47 COR 40-8321 [¶23,062R]

APPEAL – LATE FILING
Board reg. § 359(a), (b) (2020) – Employer did not show good cause for its late appeal.

Digest of COSHAB’s Denial of Petition for Reconsideration dated August 4, 2020, Inspection No. 1436614.

ERNEST GONZALES DBA WORLD FAMOUS PLUMBING

47 COR 40-8321 [¶23,061R]

APPEAL – LATE FILING
Labor Code § 6617 (2020) – The Appeals Board lacked jurisdiction to grant reconsideration where Employer filed an untimely appeal.

Digest of COSHAB’s Denial of Petition for Reconsideration dated August 3, 2020, Inspection No. 1401228.

 

CHAMPION HOME BUILDERS, INC.

47 COR 40-8319 [¶23,059R]

JURISDICTION – PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Labor Code § 6614(a) (2020) – The Appeals Board lacked jurisdiction to grant reconsideration over Employer’s untimely petition for reconsideration.

Digest of COSHAB’s Denial of Petition for Reconsideration dated July 23, 2020, Inspection No. 1422960.