FLASH REPORTS

Flash: Historic Decision about Lead

A 14-year rulemaking journey reaches a conclusion with a Cal/OSHA vote on drastically revising its rules on lead exposure. Click here to learn what happened and the new requirements.

Flash: DOSH Chief Resigns

Jeff Killip is leaving Cal/OSHA after less than two years leading the safety agency. Here’s what we know so far about this surprising development.

ARTICLES

Root Cause of Marathon Incident

What caused a fire to erupt at the Marathon Renewables fuel plant in Martinez. The Chemical Safety Board has been investigating, and the root cause has been determined.

Nola Contender?

As the search for a new Cal/OSHA chief heat up, a candidate emerges from the agency’s rulemaking body.

New Bill Adds Silica Requirements

Cal/OSHA has adopted an emergency standard to prevent silicosis in the engineered stone industry. Now a state legislator is trying to add more requirements – including a licensing program.

The ‘New Guy’ Meets Cal/OSHA

Learning the ins and outs of Cal/OSHA and occupational safety and health can be confusing for a longtime newspaper reporter. Here are the first impressions of Cal-OSHA Reporter's 'New Guy' Gary Warth.

Hoist Petition Decision

A safety equipment company says Cal/OSHA’s standard on construction personnel hoists is hopelessly outdated in one aspect and seeks an update. Here’s how the Standards Board ruled on the petition and why.

Workplace Fatality Update

Here are the latest workplace fatality cases from around California in recent weeks.

The Lead Cast is Set

Cal/OSHA has finally had its vote on sweeping revisions to its lead standards. Now employers have only months to figure out how to comply with the very complicated changes.

Walking / Working Surfaces Committee

Many common workplace surfaces can be the sources of dangerous – or fatal – falls. Here’s what Cal/OSHA is doing to address these hazards at the behest of Fed-OSHA and how you can get involved.

CASES

KPRS CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC.

49 COR 40-8785 [¶23,278]

INJURY AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PLAN –
 Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §§3203(a)(4) and (a)(6) – The Division failed to prove that Employer did not implement, and maintain an effective IIPP.

FLOOR, ROOF AND SKYLIGHT OPENINGS –
Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §1632(b)(1) – The evidence presented showed that the roof access opening was not guarded.  The cover over the opening was not secure. 

FLOOR, ROOF AND SKYLIGHT OPENINGS–
Employer, a controlling employer, demonstrated that it was relieved of liability as it met the factors of the due diligence defense.

Digest of COSHAB ALJ’s Decision dated January 12, 2024, Inspection No 1371294.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY PROBATION DEPARTMENT DBA BARRY J NIDORF JUVENILE HALL

49 COR 40-8782 [23,277]

INJURY AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM (IIPP) –
Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §3203(a)(6) – The evidence proffered by the Division showed Employer failed to effectively implement its IIPP and failed to train employees on new hazards of workplace violence.

ASSESSMENT OF CIVIL PENALTY –
One citation was affirmed and the associated penalty was modified and assessed.

Digest of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated January 25, 2024, Inspection No. 1415736 (Sylmar, CA)

 

S.C. ANDERSON, INC.

49 COR 40-8781 [¶23,276R]

ROOF OPENINGS –
Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §1632(b)(3) – Employer violated the safety order by failing to ensure that roof openings were guarded by either temporary railings and toeboards or covers capable of supporting the greater of 400 pounds or twice the weight of the employees, equipment and materials. Such covers are to be secured against accidental removal or displacement and contain specific legible markings.

MULTI-EMPLOYER WORKSITES –
Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §336.10(c) – Employer was responsible through actual practice, for safety and health conditions at the worksite and had the authority to ensure that hazardous conditions were corrected (controlling employer).

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated January 30, 2024, Inspection No. 1405107.

 

BRAGG INVESTMENT COMPANY, INC.

49 COR 40-8777 [¶23,275]

INJURY AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM (IIPP) – Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §1509(a) –
The evidence proffered by the Division showed Employer failed to effectively train employees to recognize, understand and avoid the hazards of an unloaded crane.

CONTROL OF CRANE TRAVEL – Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §1616.1(t)(1) –
The evidence proffered by the Division, was sufficient to show that Employer did not effectively control the travel of crane resulting in the crane colliding with a stationary crane.

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES –
INDEPENDENT EMPLOYEE ACTION DEFENSE (IEAD): Employer failed to prove all five elements of the IEAD, the defense failed.

NEWBERY DEFENSE: Employer knew or should have known of the potential danger to employees caused by the crane’s travel.  The evidence showed that the Employer failed to exercise adequate supervision to ensure safety. The Employer’s efforts to ensure employee compliance with its safety rules were insufficient.  Violations of the requirements were foreseeable.  All four elements of the defense existed.  Employer did not meet its burden. 

SERIOUS VIOLATION – REBUTTAL OF CLASSIFICATION Labor Code §6432(c) –
 Failure to take all the steps that a reasonable and responsible employer should to control the Crane’s travel and avoid collisions, supports a finding that the employer did not rebut the Serious classification.

 ASSESSMENT OF CIVIL PENALTIES –
Two citations were affirmed and the penalties were assessed.

Digest of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated December 29, 2023, Inspection No. 1466722 (Inglewood, CA)

T&R AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR

49 COR 40-8775 [¶23,274R]

PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION – JURISDICTION – Labor Code §6614(a) –
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 November 8, 2023, Inspection No. 1565033.

 

99 CENTS ONLY STORES, LLC #383

49 COR 40-8769 [¶23,272R]

FOOT PROTECTION –
 Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §3385(a) – Employer violated the safety order by failing to require appropriate foot protection for employees exposed to foot injuries from falling objects, crushing and penetrating hazards.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration dated Nov 8, 2023, Inspection No. 1314092.

CALVARY CHAPEL OF SAN JOSE

49 COR 40-8771 [¶23,273R]

MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE –
The Appeals Board has the authority to review an inspection warrant issued by the Superior Court Judge.  The Appeals Board found that the ALJ had jurisdiction to rule on the Motion and properly granted it after determining the warrant had been issued without probable cause.  Further, the ALJ’s Order properly excluded the evidence obtained from the Division’s site inspection.

Digest of COSHAB’s Decision After Reconsideration and Order of Remand dated November 2, 2023, Inspection No. 1564732.

HAMPTON TEDDER ELECTRIC

49 COR 40-8765 [23,271]

OBSERVERS – Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §2940(d) –
The evidence proffered by the Division was sufficient to show that Employer did not have a qualified electrical worker in close proximity during the time work was being done on an exposed conductor or exposed parts of equipment.

PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT – Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §2940.6(a) –
The evidence proffered by the Division was sufficient to show that Employer failed to ensure that protective equipment was used by employees as required.

DE-ENERGIZATION – Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §2941(h)(4) –
The evidence proffered by the Division was sufficient to show that Employer failed to ensure that during the time work was being done a test had not been conducted to de-energize conductors or equipment.

DISTANCE FROM EXPOSED ENERGIZED PARTS – Title 8, California Code of Regulations, §2940.2(a) –
The evidence proffered by the Division was sufficient to show that Employer failed to ensure no employee was permitted to approach or take any conductive object without being protected.

INDEPENDENT EMPLOYEE ACTION DEFENSE (IEAD) –
Employer failed to establish all five elements of IEAD.

NEWBERY DEFENSE –
The violations were foreseeable and thus, the Newbery Defense was not applicable to any of the citations.

SERIOUS INJURY – Labor Code §6432(a) –
Citations 1, 2, and 3 were properly classified as Serious after review of the facts of the violations.

SERIOUS VIOLATION – REBUTTAL OF CLASSIFICATION – Labor Code §6432(e) –
Failure to take all steps a reasonable and responsible employer would take to anticipate and prevent violations supports a finding that the employer did not rebut the Serious classification.

ASSESSMENT OF CIVIL PENALTIES –
Three citations were affirmed, and the proposed penalties were assessed.  One citation was vacated.

Digest of COSHAB-ALJ’s Decision dated October 3, 2023, Inspection No. 1233597 (Downey, CA)