Legislative Update – May 31, 2024

Several bills of interest to California’s occupational safety and health community have been approved by their houses of origin and are now being considered by the other chamber. The most significant legislation is AB 3043 by Assemblyman Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), which would prohibit the use of dry methods in fabricating engineered stone in order to … Read More »

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Will Heat Illness Violations Be Decided By Workers’ Comp Judges?

A new bill by Senator Dave Cortese would create a presumption that an agricultural employee alleging a heat-related injury or illness is work-related. More importantly, it would allow the applicant’s attorneys to allege in workers’ comp court that Cal/OSHA regulations were violated even if Cal/OSHA hasn’t cited the employer. The bill’s sponsors are the United … Read More »

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Breathalyzers Could Help Employers with New Pot Restrictions

New laws that became effective January 1st have restricted workplace inquiries about testing for cannabis use. However, employers can still check employees and potential hires through exemptions to the rules and new testing technologies. Under SB 700, employers are prohibited from asking job applicants about past cannabis use, but there are exceptions for jobs involving … Read More »

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New Bill Adds Silica Requirements

As Cal/OSHA works to address a growing number of workplace silicosis cases, a newly proposed California Assembly bill aims to up the ante for engineered stone fabricators. AB 3043 by Assemblyman Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley) would establish a statewide licensing program for fabrication shops, require workers to undergo training, prohibit the dry-cutting of engineered … Read More »

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Safety Bills to Governor’s Desk

Three safety-related bills have been passed by the California Legislature and are awaiting action by Governor Gavin Newsom. They include SB 553 on workplace violence, SB 686 on household domestic service and AB 521 women’s toilet facilities on construction sites. SB 553 (Senator Dave Cortese, D-Campbell) would require California employers to develop and implement workplace … Read More »

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Safety-Related Bills Close to Passage

The two major bills related to occupational safety and health for this legislative season have passed crucial tests in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and are before the full chamber. If they pass the Assembly, as expected, they will go back to the Senate for reconciliation and final approval, then on to the governor’s desk. Perhaps … Read More »

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